NORTH Pembrokeshire Grassland Society will host the first ever awards ceremony for the new ‘BGS UK Grassland Farmer of the Year’ competition tonight (Wednesday, October 23rd).

This new award replaces the National Grassland Management Competition, which has run since 2002. The country’s best three farmers are chosen for utilising pastures to the best of their ability, whilst caring for the environment and maximising their animals’ potential to run a successful and profitable business.

“The Grassland Farmer of the Year competition recognises the UK’s best and most innovative grassland farmers,” says Louise Davison, technical project manager for the British Grassland Society.

“The calibre of this year’s entries made choosing the overall winner an incredibly tough decision for the judges. With finalists from Yorkshire, Cheshire and Ceredigion, the spread of soil type, rainfall, stock type and farm management was extremely varied. It was great to see such fantastic entries involved in the competition.”

Neil Perkins, of Dinas Island Farm, Fishguard who won the National Grassland Management Competition in 2012, will give an insight into his experiences from the past twelve months. Competition sponsors GrowHow and DLF Trifolium will speak about increasing output from grassland, starting with soil and nutrients through to growing the best grass and forage possible.

Head judge and dairy farmer Richard Ratcliffe will announce the winner of the 2013 award and present the winner with a trophy and cheque for £500 at the ceremony at the Fishguard Bay Hotel.