The best celebration of farming in the south west took place on Thursday, November 8 at the third South West Farmer Awards, sponsored by Cornish Mutual.

It was a night of pride and community as the finalists and their families dressed to the nines, gathered at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton to find out who had won the ten awards.

Richard and Sally Reed from in Kentisbeare near Cullompton won two awards for their great achievements and real sense of family working together. They won Family Farm of the Year (sponsored by Mole Valley) and Dairy Farmer of the Year (sponsored by Progiene Dairy Hygiene) for their consistent achievements at Aller House Farm.

The Outstanding Achievement award was won by Rebecca Tonks from St Ewe Eggs, based at Ventonwyn Farm in Tregony. Due to an accident on the M5 Rebecca arrived a couple of hours into the evening, and was rewarded with a fantastic surprise. The judges found that she truly is pushing boundaries with impressive results.

Susie Wilkinson, the Farming Community Network (FCN) coordinator for Somerset was given awarded Special Recognition. Her tireless work with, and for, the agricultural community won her cheers and applause on the night.

Another inspiring woman, Gemma Smale-Rowland won Young Farmer of the Year (sponsored by Coodes Solicitors). She farms Glebewin Holsteins at South Hellescott Farm, North Petherwin near Launceston. Gemma's incredible passion and drive are what sets her apart.

Host Rob Venner of Greenslade Taylor Hunt took special pride in naming Nigel Gribble Beef Farmer of the Year. His attention to detail and forward planning is paying off at Uphill Farm in Launceston.

David Ullyott's sterling work at Bapton Manor Farm near Warminster won him Farm Manager of the Year, no mean feat given the challenges the weather has posed this year.

Born from a different set of challenges, it was Judith and Clive Freane of Brown Cow Organics at Perridge Farm, Shepton Mallet who were awarded Diversification of the Year (sponsored by Cornish Mutual). Their enormous passion and determination shines through.

Tim and Jo Budden won Produce of the Year with their organic ethos that embraces animal welfare and the environment at Higher Hacknell Farm near Umberleigh.

Near neighbours Dave and Sue Arscott were awarded Sheep Farmers of the Year for their work at Narracott Farm, Umberleigh. As they were announced there was loud appreciation for their work, which is fitting as one of the reasons they stood out to the judges is their strong local community links.

There was also warm support shown for FCN. Stephen Dennis spoke about the importance of keeping in touch with eachother across farms, of checking on and helping others in what can be a solitary job in isolated areas. The raffle, with generous prizes donated by Cornish Mutual raised £450 for FCN in its mission of offering support to all members of the agricultural community that need it.

The value of community was at the fore of the event and the night was full of joy and chatter.

The awards celebrate our farmers and all that they do. The team at South West Farmer, the judges and the sponsors are proud to be associated with them.

If you know someone who should be celebrated for their achievements, nominate them for next year's awards.