IT was a celebration of the fighting spirit that has seen Cumbria's farming community through the challenges that have faced them over the past 18 months.

Around 220 farmers, industry professionals and local dignitaries, last night cheered on the winners of the inaugural Cumbria Farmer Awards 2021 at a glittering ceremony held at The Greenhill Hotel, near Wigton, and hosted by John Wharton, farmer and livestock manager and auctioneer at Mitchell's Auction Mart at Cockermouth.

"This was a real celebration and a wonderful showcase for rural Cumbria," said John.

The 12 categories welcomed entries from across farming's core sectors with judges so impressed with the high quality of the nominations they took the unusual step of introducing Judges' Special Awards and a Farmers' Choice Award.

The search for the county's fantastic individuals who make the farming industry and its community so unique, was organised by Newsquest Cumbria in partnership with Carlisle-based accountants, financial and business advisers, Armstrong Watson.

Head judge and partner and head of agriculture and farming at Armstrong Watson, Andrew Robinson, said: "It gave us real pride to see the wide range of successful farming and food businesses we have in Cumbria."

Cumbrian artist and illustrator, Lynn Bates, designed a Herdwick Ram's head which proudly sits on each of the glass trophies, and was also part of the Special Recognition Award, made by Honister Slate Mine at Keswick, and presented to HRH the Prince of Wales by the Cumbrian farming community.


Against All Odds: Growing Well. Agricultural Student/Rural Skills award: Emma Blamire. Contractor of the year: A.J Rickerby Contracting. Dairy farmer of the year: Tom Dent. Diversification of the year: Dodgson Wood. Farming champion: Will Cockbain. Food retailer of the year: Low Sizergh Farm and Barn. Land and environment award: Tim Winder. Livestock farmer of the year: James Duerden. Supplier of the year: Aspatria Farmers. Tenant farmer of the year: Dan Simpson & Ruby Cappleman. Young Farmers’ Club of the year: Drigg YFC. Lifetime achievement: Will Rawling. Judges’ special awards: The Graham Family (Millerhill Farm), Sian Jordan, Pat Turnbull. Farmers’ choice award: Julie Brough.