Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

Cornwall Farmers Apprentice Wins National Gold Medal Award

One of Cornwall Farmers young engineering apprentices has scooped a major national student award in his second year at agricultural college. James Marks has won the City & Guilds Gold Medal for his NVQ folder. The award is made to just one student each year from all of Britains agricultural colleges. James also claimed the Outstanding Achievement Award for Second Year at Brooksby College, Melton Mowbray, and the John Deere Year Two Student of the Year Award.

Last year I won the John Deere Year One AgTech Student of The Year Award and this year Ive managed to go even better so Im delighted and very grateful for the support that Ive been given throughout my apprenticeship, especially by the management team here at Cornwall Farmers, says James.

James comes from a farming background and enjoys nothing better in his spare time than learning the ropes on the selection of old tractors which his family has acquired over the years on their farm just outside Hayle.

Im lucky to have fathers and grandfathers machines to work on and although theyre a different challenge to the modern, computerised equipment it all helps to build up my experience, adds James.

With Cornwall Farmers being the main distributor for John Deere tractors and equipment in the South West, John Deeres sponsorship of the AgTech Engineering Course provides each Cornwall Farmers student with a very thorough and essential knowledge of all the firms machines. This is vital when it comes to responding to calls from farmers whose machinery needs fixing on-site.


This course is a mix of theory and practice and having got this far Im now starting to go out on site with a qualified engineer and I cant wait until its my turn to fix problems on my own, says James.

James Marks is based at Cornwall Farmers Ludgvan Depot where the organisations apprentice engineering scheme comes under the management of Graham Denning, Cornwall Farmers Parts and Servicing Manager.

In addition to congratulating James on his achievements, Graham Denning is ever the realist and looking forward to James joining the ranks of his team of full engineers when he finishes the course in May. James has been the model student for us and hell be a great asset once he becomes a full engineer, he says. Quite frankly, the hours required in this job do put off some youngsters, as you do have to be ready to go to a farm at all hours, depending on whats required. James and the other lads we have here are undaunted by this so we have a really sound team in place to look after the needs of our customers right the way up from Lands End to Truro. And a young team, too!


Cornwall Farmers is a farmer owned agricultural supply co-operative registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act. The company commenced trading in 1920.

The key co-operative functions of the business are;

    To secure reliable supply of agricultural inputs for the West Country.

    To achieve optimal buying prices for our members.

    To optimise the cost of storage, distribution and administration.

    To provide added value to our members through timely and relevant advice.

The business has grown turnover from 50 million to 80 million in the last three years from 16 branches across Devon and Cornwall.

The co-operative supports livestock, arable and horticultural businesses together with smallholders and the wider rural community. Its principle trading divisions include;

    Feed & Forage feed (compounds, blends straights) and forage (fertiliser, seed, additives)

    Arable crop protection advice and chemicals, seed, fertiliser

    Machinery whole goods (tractors etc), parts, service, hire, professional groundscare (golf courses etc) and domestic (lawnmowers, strimmers etc)

    Retail animal health, clothing, equestrianism, fencing, farm and garden hardware

The company employs 350 full and part-time staff

On 30 September 2007, the group reported Total Net Assets of 10 million without revaluing property.

More information can be found on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.