'King of pasties' and top student reap big rewards
CORNWALL can boast the winners of two major prizes after successes in recent awards.
Jeremy Oatey, from Agricola Growers Ltd, in Torpoint, was crowned Arable Farmer of the Year at the Farmers Weekly Awards.
And Steven Harris, from Racecourse Farm, near Bodmin, is a winner in this year's Dairy Crest/NFU Scholarship Fund Awards.
The judges at the Farmers Weekly Awards said of Mr Oatey: "Jeremy is the king of pasties – he's the largest supplier of onions, swede, potatoes and wheat to local Cornish pasty makers."
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The judges were impressed with the clear vision of the business, which was tapping into local markets and growing in a notoriously challenging area.
The other big winners of the night were Farmer of the Year Robert Newborough, Lord Henry Plumb, who was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Andrew Ward, of Lincolnshire, who was named Farming Champion of the Year.
The awards were handed out at a celebration ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, on London's Park Lane.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Steven Harris was named as a winner in the Dairy Crest/NFU Scholarship Awards.
Currently studying agriculture with animal science at Harper Adams University, he has taken a keen interest in his family's 160-cow herd for several years.
Steven is especially interested in breeding cattle. In 2010 he started showing his cattle and won the Breed Championship at Liskeard Show.
Last year, the farm embarked on an embryo transfer programme with which he has been closely involved.
Steven was delighted to receive his £2,000 prize money, saying: "This will be a great help to me and hopefully keep my student loan to a minimum.
"The Dairy Crest/NFU Scholarships do a lot of good for students in South West England. Getting started in the industry isn't easy and we appreciate all the help we receive."
The fund chairman from Dairy Crest, who is also called Steve Harris. said: "Steven is exactly the sort of person we want to help get into the industry.
"His enthusiasm and dedication came through so strongly and he deserved to win."
Steven was one of four finalists in the scholarship competition, which has distributed more than £16,000 this year. The other finalists who also received cash awards were:
Emily Ashford, from Buckfastleigh, Devon, who is in her final year at Reading University, studying for a degree in agriculture.
Henry Lucas, from Ilminster, Somerset, studying at Harper Adams for his degree in agriculture.
Edward Hosegood, from East Worlington, Devon, who is also studying at Harper Adams for a degree in agriculture.