The Young Farmer of the Year Award, supported by The Farm Safety Foundation, is focused on celebrating the young people involved in agriculture who are promoting good practice in the sector.
We are looking for a YFC member who works safely and encourages others to do the same, has implemented new ideas and is a strong ambassador for British food and farming.
Three judges chose our five finalists for this year's award and we will find out at the Awards ceremony on 3 November 2023 who is the winner.
Charlie is a beef, sheep and arable farmer in Warwickshire and uses her social media channels to promote British food and farming and safer working practices. She has over 10k followers on her Instagram channel and regularly contributes to Farmers Weekly as a columnist. Charlie also ensures the County Federation delivers relevant mental health and farm safety training modules, especially following the loss of two of the county's members.
Sioned grew up on a family farm in Brecknock and is a great ambassador for British food and farming. She works hard to promote safer farming practices and is still hands on with the family farm, while also working full time in a role where she encourages new entrants into the industry. As well as raising funds for The Farm Safety Foundation (Yellow Wellies), Sioned has worked with NFU Cymru to deliver The Lamb Diaries – live lessons to schoolchildren. The judges loved the fact Sioned helped ensure these were bilingual lessons too.
Contract shepherd Matthew's passion for hill farming and producing quality produce stood out. He has been protecting vital water sources through sensitive grazing management in his local area. He's also an advocate for safer farming and arranged for an NFU safety talk during a club meeting and has organised for the Mind Your Head Curve module to be delivered too.
James actively promotes British food and farming and safe working practices from his farm in Wales. He has made TV appearances with his family business, which is focused on promoting Welsh food and farming, and attended many events, sharing positive messages about British agriculture. It was impressive to see that James is promoting safer farming in his club Rhayader YFC, where he is now club leader. He has taken part in the Farm Machinery Skills competition, supported The DPJ Foundation and the recent Lens Light tractor relay, to raise awareness of mental health.
Michael’s work to promote mental health among the farming community is to be applauded. His involvement in starting Just Talk Agri and the development of the initiative are impressive – even more so due to Michael's young age. As well as television interviews encouraging people to talk about their problems, he also gives talks at local clubs and shares window stickers to raise awareness. His commitment to the project comes from the heart and he deserves to be recognised for all he has achieved.