Article by Chris Hill in the EDP – www.edp24.co.uk/business/farming/finalists-announced-for-2019-british-farming-awards-1-6229128
Two innovative Norfolk farms have been shortlisted among the best in the country as finalists for the 2019 British Farming Awards.
Nominated in the Dairy Innovator of the Year category are Jonny and Carrie Burridge who run a dairy herd in Fundenhall, near Wymondham.
It employs hi-tech robotic milking machines and computerised herd tracking, with projects in the pipeline including new milk vending machines to increase consumer engagement at a business which is already involved with Open Farm Sunday and has recently opened a maize maze to encourage more families onto the farm.
Mr Burridge said: “It is a great honour to be nominated, but I would rather give credit to the team at the farm and recognise their hard work.
“We try our best to do everything to the best standard we can, whether it is using the best technology to achieve the best standard of animal welfare and performance from our cows, to promoting the industry and giving people the opportunity to enjoy the farm on Open Farm Sunday, and having the chance to learn something along the way. I think it is nice to be recognised, and it can be a springboard to raise the profile of East Anglia.”
Mrs Burridge added: “We don’t do this for the recognition, we just do what we do. There are not a lot of dairy farms in the area but we have got some very good ones, so it is nice to represent them and put Norfolk on the map.”
Meanwhile, Norfolk’s other finalist is Jason Borthwick of Deepdale Backpackers and Camping in north Norfolk, which was nominated in the Diversification Innovator of the Year (Large) category.
Mr Borthwick said the company had been recognised for “doing diversification differently” including its customer service, the Deepdale Visitor Information Centre, and the wide range of music and events which support local artisans and producers.
“We’d like to thank all the crew, the customers who have supported us and continue to do so, the contractors and friends who have helped us build (and repair), the musicians who have played, the street food vendors who have cooked, and all the other mix of individuals and companies who have joined us on the journey so far and into the future,” he said.
“On a personal note, I’d like to thank Chris and Alister my business partners. Chris particularly for training the crew, and instilling customer service at the heart of what we do. Alister (Dad) for his belief and financial support in what we do. And to all our crew, farm or tourism, who support our mad ideas, believe in where we are going, and entertain us along the journey route.”
The two Norfolk contenders are among the 56 farmers and growers who will compete for the 14 category titles at the 2019 awards final, organised by AgriBriefing and hosted at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham on October 17.