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.

Competition judges 2019 (L to R): Richard Rogers, Helen Mathieu, Brent Gibbon, Steve Brandon and Philip Cosgrave.

Meet the judges.

Helen Mathieu (Germinal)
“Germinal are a market leading specialist seed company producing high performance forage and amenity seeds for the agricultural and amenity sectors. The product portfolio includes the internationally renowned Aber® High Sugar Grass (HSG) range and a broad range of species including forage brassicas, clovers, chicory, plantain and maize. Working closely with research partner, the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, Germinal fund leading research into sustainable variety development. A dedicated Research Station with a progressive plant science programme of trials and development work also 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”.  Helen Mathieu, 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 alongside Yara and Germinal.  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 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.

Hugh McClymont (Head Judge)
BGS are delighted to announce that Hugh McClymont has joined the panel as our head judge. Hugh is Farm Manager at SRUC’s Crichton Royal Farm.


John Martin (2019 winner)
Sheep farmer John Martin of Greyabbey, Northern Ireland won the BGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition in 2019.  John lambs 680 ewes split between two periods: mid-January to mid-February and mid-March to early April.  Replacement lambs are homebred, with the emphasis on a smaller more prolific ewe to suit an intensive, rotationally grazed system.  Finished lambs are sold off grass by the end of November and, with an overall stocking rate of 13 ewes/ha, the farm regularly produced 500 kg of lamb carcass per hectare.  John has worked with the Agrifood and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland as a co-researcher to develop easier care sheep systems while also improving profitability.

Grassland Farmer of the Year Sponsors