Grassland Farmer Of The Year

Sponsors and Judges

Competition Sponsorship

The British Grassland Society is indebted to Germinal, Nufarm and Yara for generously sponsoring this competition.  Each sponsor organisation provides a judge for the competition to work alongside a head judge and the previous year’s competition winner.

Meet the judges.

Hugh McClymont (Head Judge)
Hugh has recently retired from his role as Farms Manager for SRUC in South West Scotland where he was responsible for Crichton Royal Farm and Barony Farm in Dumfriesshire. The total land area managed was over 700 ha with grass, wholecrop, maize and fodder beet grown for the 600+ Holstein Friesian dairy cows, yielding an average of 10,500 kgs of milk annually.  Additional enterprises included 50 dairy youngstock, 600 Scotch Mules, 100 Dorset ewes and a herd of 80 red deer. All the enterprises are utilised for research and education, as well as their commercial operation. Hugh has been an active supporter of BGS through his local grassland society, South West Scotland Grassland Society as their past Chairperson and is currently on the committee.

William Fleming (Germinal)
“Germinal are market leading forage and grass seed specialists producing high performance varieties for the agricultural and amenity sectors. Our product portfolio includes the internationally renowned Aber® High Sugar Grass (Aber HSG) range and a broad range of species including forage brassicas, clovers, chicory, plantain and maize. We have a research team embedded at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, and an on farm Research Station in Wiltshire. Germinal leads research into sustainable farming practices while our progressive plant science programme of trials and development work provides valuable industry data on innovative forage species and cropping systems. We are proud to sponsor the BGS Grassland Famer of the Year competition highlighting best practice in grassland management”.  William Fleming, Germinal GB Limited

To learn more about Germinal, please click here.

Brent Gibbon (Nufarm)
“The grassland team at Nufarm are delighted to sponsor the Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition.  Nufarm is keen to help to identify exemplary grassland farmers whose management plan features a weed control strategy and who, in turn, would be able to help champion the benefits to all livestock producers and help them to make more milk and/or meat from quality grass, the cheapest form of feed”. Brent Gibbon, Nufarm

To learn more about Nufarm please click here.

Philip Cosgrave (Yara)
“Yara has long recognised that whether growing grass for grazing or looking to reduce feed costs through better silage management, choosing the right balance of nutrients applied at the right time plays a vital role in growing grass successfully  – for both yield and quality.
This is why from a Research and Development Programme over many years we have developed a complete range of grassland fertilizers, management and timing advice to enable our farmer customers to balance the nutrient requirement of their grass. Quality fertilizers that provide the balance between what a farm has, and what the grass needs to deliver the yield and quality the livestock farmer wants – whether for dairy, beef or sheep – and whether for grazing or housed feeding.
We believe ‘if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it’ and soil and herbage analysis has a role to play in choosing the right fertilizer for the farm. This is clearly the ‘attention to detail’ philosophy held by members of the BGS and why we are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to be involved with the prestigious Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition”. Philip Cosgrove, Grassland Agronomist, Yara UK and Ireland.

To learn more about grassland at Yara please click here.

Robert Black (2023 Winner – East of Scotland Grassland Society)

Robert farms just over 500 hectares at Drochil Castle Farm near West Linton in Peebleshire. The land rises from 200 metres to just under 500 m. Robert runs a herd of 120 Stabiliser suckler cows and a flock of 1000 Highlander ewes. During the summer, paddock grazing is practiced, with large mobs on 4 hectare breaks. Both cows and ewes are outwintered on deferred hill grazing with access to silage bales. No concentrates are fed to either.

Heifer replacements are home bred. Bull calves not sold for breeding are finished at 12-14 months on a home-grown ration. Lambs are born outdoors in April and finished off forage crops before the end of the year.

Grassland Farmer of the Year Sponsors