A farmer from Shropshire has been crowned Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year.
James Evans, who runs a 250-cow suckler herd in Linley, Bishop’s Castle, said he was thrilled to receive the award.
Mr Evans, who runs Partridge Farm, in Linley, and Walcott Farm, in Lydbury North, with his brother Rob and father John, was chosen by judges because of his ability to use new technology and ideas.
And he was praised for ‘increasing herd outputs, driving forward production efficiencies and maximising profitability’.
Mr Evans, 36, said: “As a farmer you’re often working for and by yourself so it’s nice to get a bit of recognition.”
The business now has two herds over two units – a 160-cow spring-calving herd at Partridge Farm and a 90-cow autumn-calving herd at Walcot Farm.
Mr Evans has been a Stabiliser breeder since 2007, working within the Stabiliser Cattle Company’s production pyramid with 30 other farmers.
When a buyer contacts Stabiliser they are then put in contact with the nearest cattle farmer in their region.
He said: “We’re now getting more cows in calf and rearing more calves, so although individual value may be reduced, the profitability of the business has gone up.”
Mr Evans had what he describes as a ‘eureka’ moment on a study trip to Cumbria four years ago when he saw the benefits of using Stabilisers.
He said: “Nothing focuses the mind more than having to constantly prove what you are doing is profitable and works in terms of facts and figures.”