The winners of the South West Farmers Awards 2021 were announced last night at the awards ceremony in Taunton.

Nine farmers were crowned as the best in the south west, recognised not just by the judges but the gathered 160 guests.

It was a night of excitement, celebration and pride at the Somerset County Cricket Ground as each winner was recognised for their skill, passion and dedication.

The winners of the South West Farmer Awards 2021 are:

Emily Fleur: Young Farmer of the Year (sponsored by Coodes Solicitors)

Emily continues to demonstrate determination and vision through adversity, starting her own business and pushing through the challenges she's had to face whilst continuing to volunteer for the Farming Community Network.

Lee James: Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Duchy & Bicton College of the Cornwall College Group)

Working consistently to a high standard, Lee's passion for his livestock has been evident throughout. Gaining a Level 4 apprenticeship in Agricultural Business Management, Lee completed a full mock tenancy application for a Devon County Council farm and was the overall winner for his application out of the 14 students.

The Vanstone family: Family-Run Farm of the Year (sponsored by Shearwell Data)

The Vanstones, comprising Milford, Rhude and Lanawood Farms, demonstrate a really holistic approach with team mentality and a support network year round, utilising individual skills and strengths for the benefit of all.

Matt and Pippa Smith of Trefranck Farm: Diversification Award (sponsored by LocalIQ Digital Marketing)

Inspired by their international travels, the couple have successfully diversified since taking on the family farm, enhancing groundworks, expanding a successful sheep flock and now more than 500 deer, generating impressive results from a growing venison market with a focus on quality from high welfare standards.

Robert and Faye Wills of The Wills Brothers: Dairy Farmer of the Year (sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers)

The Wills demonstrate a great example of a well-run large scale dairy enterprise, some six generations in the making. They combine improved efficiencies to give livestock the best chance of good health from the start

Mark and Emily Bury of Eversfield Organic Farm: Beef Farmer of the Year (sponsored by Harpers Feeds)

Working with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Mark and Emily began rearing their own herd of native Aberdeen Angus cattle on free to roam organic farmland. The cattle are fed on a 100 per cent pasture diet, they feed on grasses and wildflower alone, never grain.

Neville Farm: Sheep Farmer of the Year

Mark and Belinda Raymond and Jenny Rearden continue to work hard with their quality mixed flock and are dedicated to strict health criteria, organic land management and old-fashioned methods. They have diversified excellently through a successful tannery.

David Oates of Rosuick Farm: Sustainable Champion (supported by Farming Community Network)

There are excellent results from this organic farm as it implements nature friendly, sustainable farming methods. David continues intelligent land management, proven through continued surveying, to benefit both nature and the output of the farm.

Gemma Smale-Rowland: Outstanding Achievement (sponsored by Cornish Mutual)

Gemma's contribution to the region's farming industry is simply too large to detail here, despite her young years. She has worked endlessly for many years on promotions, inspiring young people into the industry all the while ensuring consistent results from the family's pedigree dairy herd, chickens and sheep.

We will post photographs of the winners and awards ceremony over the coming days.