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Frome farmer is Britain’s Outstanding Farmer Of The Year

l-r: Neil Darwent with judges, farmer Mike Gooding and Countryfile presenter Adam Henson.

l-r: Neil Darwent with judges, farmer Mike Gooding and Countryfile presenter Adam Henson.

Neil Darwent from Frome has been named the Outstanding Farmer of the Year in BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming Awards 2014 

He received the award from Countryfile’s presenter Adam Henson at a ceremony held in Bristol earlier this month.

“Neil is entrepreneurial, he’s innovative, he’s using his great business skills – and bringing all these things together,” said Adam. “Then he’s communicating those not only to the public, but also to other farmers.”

Neil has been a dairy farmer since 1986 and set up Free Range Dairy in 2011, a UK farmer-led initiative to promote the value of milk from pasture.

Farming at Lordswood Farm on the outskirts of the town, he has also been building strategic partnerships with researchers and scientists to deliver new thinking and practical measures for dairy farmers.

“I am absolutely delighted to have won this award,” he said. “It gives us valuable recognition raising awareness of what I am trying to achieve in pasture dairy farming.”

Neil believes in the importance of feeding cows grass – something many modern farmers have replaced with grain and other feeds.

“For me this award is about getting recognition for a way of farming that’s been in existence in Britain for generations, but is not old-fashioned – it’s actually current, it’s both efficient and cost-effective.

“It has been a lot of hard work but when you believe in something and you are passionate about something, it’s not work. You love it. It’s great fun.”

Pictured l-r: Neil Darwent with judges, farmer Mike Gooding and Countryfile presenter Adam Henson.

 

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