There is still time for farmers to enter Devon’s premier agriculture awards. Nominations for the 2017 Devon Farm Business Awards can be made until 24 March.

The awards, which are in their fourth year, are organised by Addington Fund, Stephens Scown LLP and Devon County Agricultural Association. The awards celebrate and showcase the best farmers and farming businesses in Devon.

Last year’s overall winner, Gordon Davis of Westcott Farm, Westleigh said: “I’m very proud of what our family has achieved through hard work and determination. Being awarded Devon’s Best Dairy Farmer and then overall winner of the Devon Farm Business Awards 2016 has been the highlight of my year. I encourage all farmers in Devon to enter the 2017 awards.”

Ian Bell, Chief Executive of the Addington Fund says: “By recognising the finest of Devon’s farmers, we hope to inspire other participants within the industry to excel, and make the general public more aware of the thought and dedication that goes into producing their food.’

Phil Reed, head of rural services at Stephens Scown said: “Helping to develop and organise the Devon Farm Business Awards is a source of great pride at Stephens Scown. We are passionate about farming, but we know it is never easy. When times are challenging it is more important than ever to celebrate success and the Devon Farm Business Awards is a great way to do that.”

Richard Maunder, Association Secretary & Chief Executive of the Devon County Agricultural Association said: “I can quite understand that at this time of great uncertainty, farmers have other things on their mind than entering competitions.

“But the fact is that, whatever the future holds, excellence, be that in crop and animal husbandry, business management or marketing, is going to be the key to success.  Now, more than ever, we need to be highlighting the very best of Devon farmers and farming, so that they can show the way ahead for farmers everywhere.

“This is not the time for shrinking violets.  Devon farming needs to be shouting its qualities from the rooftops.  So, come on you Devon farmers!  It won’t take long to fill in the entry form, or alternatively, ask someone to nominate you. We need this to be the best supported Devon Farm Business Awards we have yet staged, so as to send a powerful message of confidence in our industry, in our skills and in our products, not just to our customers, but to our politicians as well.”

The categories for the Devon Farm Business Awards 2017 are:

  • Best Commercial Farmer
  • Best Dairy Farmer – sponsored by Crediton Dairy
  • Best Woman in Farming – sponsored by NatWest
  • The John Neason Diversification Award – sponsored by Devon County Council, County Farms Estate
  • Devon’s Farming Champion – sponsored by the NFU and NFU Mutual
  • Devon’s Best Young Farmer – sponsored by Savills.

Sponsored by Cornish Mutual, a Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented.  The overall prize, Devon’s Farmer of the Year – sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers will be awarded to one of the category winners.

Nomination forms can be downloaded here. Nominations must be received by 24 March 2017.

The shortlisted nominees will be invited to a black tie dinner held on the eve of the Devon County Show, on Wednesday 17th May, where the winners will be announced.