The First Milk Responsible Farming Awards are a celebration of some of the dairy co-operative’s highest achieving members across three different award categories: Animal, Environment and People.
Alan Conway, from Morpeth in Northumberland won this year’s Animal category in recognition for his dedication to improving animal welfare and performance.
Collingthwaite Farm, managed by Graham Walker and part of the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire, won the Environment category.
So hotly contended was the People category of the awards - which recognises outstanding leadership and community engagement – that joint winners were announced. The Prichard family from Pontyphillip Farm in Pembrokeshire and the Maughan family from Gateshawmill Farm in Cumbria were both announced as winners.
First Milk also awarded an overall ‘Chairman’s Award’ to recognise a First Milk member who has demonstrated their professionalism and dedication to dairy farming. This year’s winner was the Struthers family from Auchmeddan Farm in Lanarkshire, who have demonstrated a willingness to embrace farm diversification through renewable energy production, ability to overcome the challenges posed by farming on reclaimed land and commitment to business expansion.
“The awards are a brilliant example of some of the excellent, dedicated producers that we have working in the First Milk pool,” explains First Milk Membership Director, Mark Brooking. “Introducing our Responsible Farming Awards has been a great excuse to celebrate the achievements of our members and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each of the winners.”
Each category was independently judged by representatives from the retail and agriculture industries, including Sainsbury’s, Nestle, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and Ornua Foods