As we go to print we are waiting with bated breath to hear who the judging panel has selected to win a South West Farmer Award 2018.

The nominations were a joy to read as there was much use of the word ‘proud’.

People wrote about how tenacious and dedicated their farming friends and members of the family have been in the face of environmental and manmade challenges.

Diversification is a theme that runs throughout the nominations and subsequent interviews. It appears that the best of the farmers in the south west are working hard to outwit and outplan the wet spring and hard drought.

Farmers we spoke to are looking at their business even more closely in light of the ensuing problems of leaving the EU. What’s more, they’re collaborating with each other, sharing information and techniques to help manage the difficult present and uncertain future.

This year, more than any other year, the South West Farmer team see the annual awards as especially important.

This is a time to receive praise, thanks and admiration for providing much of the highest quality of produce in the country under difficult circumstances.

It’s also a night for the farmers shortlisted to enjoy a glamorous night out with others sharing the same trials and tribulations.

Sponsored by Cornish Mutual, this year’s black tie Awards Evening will be held on Thursday, November 8, at the Colin Atkinson Pavilion at Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton, Somerset.

This year the Cornwall Channel will be live streaming the event so everyone that can’t make it can tune and enjoy.

Categories include Diversification of the Year, Produce Farmer of the Year, Organic Farmer of the year, Innovation Award, Farm Manager of the Year, Sheep Farmer of the Year, Beef Farmer of the Year, Dairy Farmer of the Year, Outstanding Achievement of the Year, Family Run Farm of the Year and Young Farmer of the Year.

Each category nominee has met tough set criteria including enterprise performance, use of technology, environmental considerations, contribution to the community/agricultural industry and vision/marketing strategy.

Each were interviewed for extra detail to make sure their entry was as strong as possible.

When we called farmers with the unexpected news that they had been nominated for an award we were met with the whole range of reactions, from bemusement and disbelief to downright laughter!

A big thank you to all who nominated farmers for the awards.

The event gives local farmers, suppliers, breeders and everyone involved in the industry the recognition they deserve for the tremendous work they do.

We are proud to award the people that feed us and do so much more besides.

Once the judges have come to their conclusions, we’ll announce the finalists at, via Twitter @SouthWestFarmer and Facebook @SWFarmerNews.