3 UK farms shortlisted for NEWBIE Awards

Three start-up agricultural businesses have been selected as finalists of a novel award for New Entrant Farm Business of the Year.

The shortlisted candidates – The Horned Beef Company, Lynbreck Croft and the Scottish Goat Meat Company – were chosen for their ability to overcome barriers in the early phases of their farming careers.

Working without fertilisers or pesticides, The Horned Beef Company farms over 500ac in the Lake District. Lynbreck Croft is a 150ac mixed habitat croft enterprise located in the Cairngorms National Park, and the Banffshire-based Scottish Goat Meat Company provides high-quality, locally reared goat meat direct to customers’ doors.

The overall award winner will receive €500 towards the cost of training or an international visit, as well as an award plaque, farm video, and the opportunity to participate in a European new entrant conference with other award winners.

Simon Gadd, chairman of the NFU’s Next Generation Forum and member of the project’s national steering group, stated: “The high calibre of the applicants makes the job of choosing a winner very difficult.

“All have overcome key barriers for new entrants in different ways, but all know their markets and had a vision for the future taking advantage of their locality. Each communicates their message through social media and websites, clearly and engaging in promoting their product.”

NEWBIE Awards

The award was offered this autumn to farmers, crofters and small-holders across the UK as well as seven other European countries.

The name ‘NEWBIE’ project is short for ‘New Entrant netWork: Business models for Innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience in European agriculture’.

It is part of a suite of opportunities aiming to help new entrants network and develop successful businesses.

Lynbreck Croft

Dr. Lee-Ann Sutherland, a research leader in the James Hutton Institute’s Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences group in Aberdeen, added: “Each farm shortlisted represents a stellar example of how new entrants innovate to deal with the common hurdles of starting a new farm business.

These three farms show a unique approach to the daunting tasks of gaining access to land, markets, and capital that most new entrants endure.

National Farmers Union representatives from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will select the winner. The award will be announced in early May.