New contest to recognize young farming talent at English Winter Fair

The team behind the event will be launching two new Young Entrepreneurs competitions this year to celebrate the achievements of young Staffordshire farmers, offering a total prize pot of £4,000.

Stock photo for illustration purposes only.

The competitions are aimed at farmers under the age of 35 living in Staffordshire or within 10 miles of its border. Entrants can either compete for the titles of Young Achiever in a Farming Enterprise or Young Achiever in a Farm Diversification Business, both of which carry a cash prize.

Organised by the Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society, the English Winter Fair will take place on 19th and 20th November. Together with sponsors Rea Valley Tractors, the organisers will be formally launching the competitions at this year’s event.

The diversification award, along with a £2,000 cash prize, will be presented to an individual with outstanding achievements in a farm diversification business.

Whereas, the winner of the farming enterprise contest will receive a first prize of £1,000 in recognition of exceptional skills, dedication, and achievement in agriculture. The runners-up will also receive a share of £1,000 at the judge’s discretion.

Richard Williams, chief executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, is looking forward to the launch of the competitions: “Young farmers and those growing up in the countryside have always been a huge part of the Winter Fair so it is wholly appropriate for the 2022 event to launch these fantastic awards.

“They recognise both excellence and achievement from the entrepreneurial under-35s who live and work in and around Staffordshire and I’m looking forward to seeing a great set of entries across the board.”

Each competition will have five finalists, who may have their farms or businesses visited by the judges before the winners are selected. The presentation of awards will take place at the Society’s annual County Dinner next year, to which all finalists and their guests will receive invitations.

Simon Clarke, chairman of Rea Valley Tractors, said he is delighted to sponsor the competitions and urged young farmers to enter: “There is so much young talent in agriculture and agricultural diversification. I do encourage you to take part. You never know where it may lead.”

The closing date for the Young Entrepreneurs competitions is 31st March 2023. Farmers can either enter themselves or nominate others.

Those entering the Farm Diversification Business contest will need to provide a brief description of the business along with five key points. Upon selection, finalists will be asked to supply further information. Entry forms are available here.

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