1 November 2016

The Farmers Ball 2016

This year at the Kent County Showground there was a Farmers Ball to raise funds for young people who want a career in farming. About 280 farmers and growers attended the event to see Jamie McGrorty from South East Farmer – who sponsored the ball – present the prizes with Kent farmer Jo Forknall.

The fund aims to subsidise training costs which will help youngsters aged between 16 and 18 on to the first rung of the ladder by, for example, paying for tractor and trailer testing and spraying courses. It is aimed towards young people who have no straightforward path into farming via family connections or do not want to – or are unable to – pursue a full time college or university placement.

In total there were six prizes given throughout the evening, these were;

  • ARABLE FARMER OF THE YEAR – A A CLIFTON Ltd

AA Clifton Ltd (AAC) is a farm located on Romney Marsh. The Clifton family founded the business in 1903 in Lincolnshire. Just after the war in 1948 Alan Clifton made the farm a limited company and started to make the business stride forward, buying his first farm on the Romney Marsh Kent.

  • FRUIT GROWER OF THE YEAR – Clockhouse Farm

Clock House Farm Limited is a family run business, farming approximately 330 hectares to the south of Coxheath in Kent. They also farm a further 30 hectares at a satellite site near Tonbridge and extend their blackberry growing season at the Kenardington glasshouse site near Ashford.

  • SHEEP FARMER OF THE YEAR – EW & RE HANKS

Farming 2,700 acres, EW & RE Hanks run 1,000 breeding ewes, 1,600 spring lambs, 500 tegs, and 20 Suffolk rams. They also have a 250 head suckler herd, plus followers.

  • FAMILY FARMING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – PHILIP SEATH

The total acreage farmed at both Lydden and Westbere, Canterbury is 325. Land at Bell Farm Lydden is owned by the Ministry of Defence. Business is mixed arable/livestock. Total livestock is roughly 160 to 180 depending on the time of year. 80 breeding cows, mostly Aberdeen Angus cross and two stock bulls, one Aberdeen Angus and one Limousin. Currently young stock are sold as stores. Working closely with English Nature helps to conserve wildlife habitats.

  • DAIRY FARMER OF THE YEAR – HICKSON BROTHERS

Farming about 1,700 acres between Dover and Deal along part of the White Cliffs. This is a mixed farm, milking about 500 Jersey dairy cows. William’s is a closed herd and has been for many many years. He employs 10 people and rents a farm at Wormshill where William rears all his youngstock. He milks in a large rotary parlour in just over two hours.

  • BEEF FARMER OF THE YEAR – MB FARMS

MB Farms are based at Parsonage Farm in Stockbury and run a successful Butchers and farm shop reared on their traditional Kentish Farm. They appreciate the high standards that their customers expect and pride themselves on achieving the supply of quality meats, through their team’s dedication, service and traditional skills.

For the full story visit http://www.southeastfarmer.net/section/events/party-helps-young-people-into-farming