Previous BALE Award Winners
Open to all farm businesses throughout Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex with buildings or land on their farms, the annual award is the only one of its type in the region and recognises and rewards imaginative and commercial alternative non-agricultural uses of the land and positive effects on the local economy. Previous winners have included log cabin holiday accommodation, a wedding and outdoor event venue, as well as farm shops and a cheese-making enterprise.
1 st Place - The Catchpole Family for Stowlangtoft Healthcare LLP
2nd Place - R & P Baker for R & P Baker Farms
Best Newcomer - Patrick Barker for Westhorpe Hall (Three Arches Care Ltd)
Best Green - Tamara Unwin for Boxted Group Ltd
Certificate of Merit -Richard Hirst for Hirsty’s Family Fun Park
Certificate of Merit - Monach Farms for Wellies-On (Butterfly Lodge Education)
Judges: Jonathan Long (Ashton KCJ), Clare, Countess of Euston (SAA President 2014), Katharine Salisbury (Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses BALE Winners 2013).
1st - Angus and Sally Scobie for EE Ulph & Co Ltd
= 2nd – Nathan Nobbs for Potsford Care Farm
= 2nd - Robert and Sally Bendall for Hollow Trees Farm
Best Newcomer – R Catchpole for Stowlangtoft Healthcare LLP
Certificates of Merit to – Emily McVeigh for Elm Occasions Ltd and Guy Taylor for The Granary Estates
Best Alternative Land Enterprise Winners 2013
A cheese-making enterprise established just nine years ago with a small herd of Guernsey cows, which has developed into a small scale dairy farming business to include a veal herd and farm shop, scooped East Anglia’s top diversification award last night (Thurs Oct 24).
Jason and Katharine Salisbury of Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses beat off stiff diversification competition from nine other regional entrants to receive the BALE award from sponsor and judge Jonathan Long, partner and Head of Agriculture and Estates at Ashton KCJ. The winners were announced during the Suffolk Agricultural Association’s Agricultural Awards dinner run held at Trinity Park.
He praised the couple from Whitegate Farm, Creeting St Mary saying: “It was a pleasure to have been involved in the judging process. My fellow judges, SAA president Stephen Cobbald and last year’s BALE winner Peter Havers, were incredibly impressed by all of the entries. Our winners, Jason and Katherine epitomise the spirit of the BALE Award, running a farm and having an excellent diversification, spreading risks. From a difficult start they found a niche in the market and through hard work and determination, they have created a very successful business, producing a popular product in a sustainable way. They incredibly deserving winners.”
“Diversification has always been at our core,” said Katharine on their entry form. “Producing handmade artisan cheeses from our 40 Guernseys is our main purpose, but we have found other niche ways to make the farm sustainable.” The couple supply milk to a local start up ice-cream venture, sell bottled milk from the farm and use whey, the bi-product from cheese-making, to feed to their herd of rare breed saddleback pigs, reducing both cost of feed and disposal of the whey. The mature full-flavoured pork is sold at Snape Farmer’s market. With about 50 per cent of their calves born as male, 25 annually, they are reared in a high-welfare system and fed until slaughter at six months and sold as rose veal.
The farm gives employment to an EastonOtley student and hosts farm tours for visitors from across the UK and Europe.
The runner up prize was presented to Sarah Robertson for Valley Farm Equestrian Centre by Suffolk Show President Stephen Cobbald. The award for the Best Green Practice was presented by Show director Bill Baker to Richard and Hazel Wrinch for Orwell View Barns and the Best Newcomer Award was presented to Nathan Nobbs of Potsford Care Farms, by Peter Havers.
Whitegate Farm also went on to win the Suffolk Farm Business Competition Class One prize the F W Barker Perpetual Challenge Cup and Tankard for the best farm upto 250 hectares, presented by Chris Seppings of sponsors Hutchinsons.
Judges, who all came through the East of England Agricultural Society, James Willmott and John Goodchild praised the choice of breed, judicious use of capital and complementary aspects of the management and said: “This shows what can be done with a small dairy farm. It is the value that is added and captured by producing and marketing Suffolk Gold that is the secret to the Salisbury’s success.”