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AFMP recognises its cream of the crop

Beating almost 1,300 dairy farmers to the post, AFMP member Adam Sills, who farms at Ash Tree Farm, Rodsely, has won the coveted title of AFMP Dairy Farmer of the Year following his continuous investment on his farm, and his keen eye for detail.


To win the award, AFMP members had to give examples of business progression, breeding and forage management as well as demonstrate how their farm was protecting the natural environment.

In the past five years, Adam has boosted cow numbers from 140 to 240 and built a free stall barn, which alongside the new milking parlour has dramatically improved the running of the farm and the comfort of the cows.

Recognsing the younger generation of the Partnership, nominees in the running for the Matthew Turnbull Young Farmer of the Year award had to demonstrate that they were making a success of managing a farming business.

There were plenty of good examples of young farmers within AFMP who are making a real difference but William Bunting’s technical skills and his tenacity and commitment to drive his family dairy farm forward showed that he was a worthy winner of the award.

Since graduating from Harper Adams University, William, who farms at Crosslow Bank Farm, Ashbourne, has used his skills and understanding to move the business forward, investing in new technology, and designing a new building especially for newly calved cows which gives them the best possible start in life.

Drawing on his experience, after spending a year working on a large dairy farm in Arizona, USA, with 5,000 cows, his cows are managed to a very high welfare standard with attention to detail in key areas of nutrition, fertility and health.

The other awards presented were:

– AFMP best on-farm environmental initiative

This went to AFMP member, Ian Pye, from Cabus, Lancashire who has integrated a range of environmental schemes on his farm which centred around harvesting rain water from farm buildings to use in the farm shop and educational centre, heat recovery, energy efficient lighting and planting nearly 300 metres of hedgerow.

– AFMP best on-farm welfare initiative

This award went to the Hurren’s from Great Ayton, Middlesborough who have embarked on a huge investment programme at their farm including a 120 foot long cow shed with all ‘mod cons’ to ensure cow welfare is top priority.

– AFMP highest milk quality award

Michael and Caroline Wainwright who farm at Dowlow Farm, near Buxton were in receipt of this award for the third year running which is testament to the exceptional standards that they employ on farm. Their impressive quality figures including somatic cell count of 44,000 and bactsocan at 11,000 for the2012/13 milk year proved that their attention to detail can make a real difference.

– AFMP most accurate forecast award

The criteria for this award is based on forecasts submitted by AFMP members versus milk supplied to Arla in the 2012/13 milk year. The award recognises that importance of accurate forecasting to help Arla balance its milk effectively and this year the award went to Joe Harrison of Aldermanseat, Dumfies whose milk supplied to Arla was only 2.52 per cent off the forecast provided.


AFMP chairmen, Jonathan Ovens, said that the calibre of the winners highlights the quality of milk produced within the Partnership: “All the winners of these awards demonstrate the high standards of dairy farming and hard work that is ongoing within the Partnership.

“The award scheme demonstrates our focus on achieving the best quality milk in the best possible environment for Arla and its customers and our winners this year are great examples of this.”

All of the award winners were presented with a commemorative slate plaque with the AFMP Farmer of the Year picking up a cheque for £1,000 and the other award winners receiving £750.


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