The Suffolk Agricultural Association Annual Awards Dinner have become a highlight in the County’s Agricultural calendar and the opportunity for the sector to celebrate best practise. This year, they will take place on 20th October at Trinity Park.
The compere and host for the evening will be Elmswell farmer, Peter Over, SAA Trustee and former Show Director.
The evening is the culmination of three keenly contested competitions that are organised and run by the Suffolk Agricultural Association.
The Suffolk Farm Business Competition, acknowledges the best in farming practise in Suffolk with three different size categories assessed. This year is has been judged by representatives from Harper Adams University Alumni Year 1992. The standard of entries was very high and kept judges busy for two days visiting the competition entrants. It is sponsored by Savills, with category sponsorship from Fram Farmers, Stanfords and C F Fertiliser
The Farming School of the Year competition is also celebrated at the awards evening. A well-established feature in the SAA’s educational calendar, the competition is open to primary schools across Suffolk. Themed around pig farming, key stage 2 pupils were tasked with making a model of a pig to enter the first stage of the competition. Short listed schools were invited to a day of workshops at Trinity Park and three finalist competed at the Suffolk Show in front of an audience of show visitors and VIPs. Saxmundham Primary School were eventually named as the Suffolk Farming School of the Year. This year, there was an extra dimension as the competition linked with the Pigs Gone Wild fundraising trail, for St Elizabeth Hospice, with the winning school’s design being recreated by artist Mick Richardson on one of the pigs featured in the town trail. The SAA were the education partner for the campaign, supporting the production of education resources. The Suffolk Farming School of the Year is sponsored by the Felix Cobbold Trust, P. Tuckwell Ltd and BQP (agricultural arm of Dalehead Foods).
The Best Alternative Land Enterprise (BALE) Award, now in its 25th year, was judged by 2016 Show President, John Wall, Jonathan Long from the competition sponsor Ashton KCJ and last year’s winner, Ruth French from Stowlangtoft Healthcare LLP. Our judges had two extremely interesting days visiting the eight entries which were located across the region, from North Norfolk to Essex. It was especially pleasing to welcome so many new entrants to the competition this year. All entries were once again outstanding, making it a very difficult decision for the judging.
Skills on Show
Trinity Park will host the Suffolk Skills Show on Wednesday 19th October. This is the major employer led skills and careers event for the county attracting some 5,000 young people to talk to employers and education providers about the opportunities available to them in the county. Career opportunities in the rural economy will be highlighted in the Marquee for Rural Skills which, this year, will focus on innovation and technology in agriculture. The SAA is a supporter and sponsor of the skills event.
Farwell to the Pigs
Over the last 12 months, the SAA has been very pleased to support the Pigs Gone Wild events which have raised £200,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice. As education sponsor, the SAA supported the development of a schools information pack and education resources. The fund raising auction, which saw the unique pieces of art each raise thousands of pounds, took place at Trinity Park in September. One of the pig artworks for sale was based on a design by Saxmundham Primary School, winner of the Suffolk Farming School of the Year 2015.
Our congratulations go to Tim Pratt of Wantisden Hall Farms who has been named Farm Manager of the Year in the recent Farmer’s Weekly Awards.