ANOTHER award was scooped up by Bill and Suzanne Harper at the 2023 South West Farmer Awards night last November. 

The pair won the Sustainable Champion of the Year award (sponsored by the Forestry Commission), as well as the Beef Farmer of the Year award (sponsored by Allflex)

Receiving the award, Bill said: “We are thrilled to with both the Sustainable Champion and Beef Farmer of the Year awards, which proves you can produce food and be sustainable at the same time.”

At the farm in North Tamerton, Cornwall, all the fields are placed in a Countryside Stewardship option and the pair rotationally graze all pastures.

Bill and Suzanne use herbal leys and GS4 mixtures whenever possible and include clover in permanent pastures. They maintain and preserve natural and historic features on the farm and use a minimal amount of chemical fertilisers.

(Image: Newsquest)

They store slurry and spread only during grazing season and they turn all solid dung into bokashi. Bill and Suzanne produce all their own water from boreholes.

The hedges on the farm are fenced to protect them from overgrazing and so they provide habitats for wildlife as well as shelter and shade for livestock.

Seven ponds have been restored on the farm and 3,500 trees have been planted in the past five years.

The pair have 125 suckler cows and 350 breeding sheep. Bill and Suzanne also rear 100 calves each year from a local dairy farmer.

They have developed their own set of nine principles of sustainable livestock farming, including introducing more diverse species when reseeding or overseeding, taking a diagnostic approach to animal health, and keeping their cattle out of watercourses to avoid poaching and pollution.