Finalists: Diversification of the year, sponsored by Harrowells Solicitors

Lori-Jo Sharp

THE family farm at Causey Wood, Ulverston, is only 18 acres of owned grassland with a further 18 acres rented close to the village and a further 40 acres further away.

Lori-Jo’s father farms sheep and this is what generated her interest in farming and working towards having her own flock. But she wanted to know more and have the confidence to do something different.

She graduated from Harper Adams University in the summer of 2017 with a FdSc agriculture degree, looking to return to the family farm and develop a business venture of her own.

She enjoyed a placement year at Dawn Meats, which gave her a real insight into a different aspect of agriculture, and gained a better understanding of how to set up a business plan from her course modules, preparing her for the next step in her business venture. Lori-Jo also joined one of the Farmer Network and The Prince's Trust.

Once she had her own flock, providing milk as a by-product, she felt confident enough to consider milking sheep and try cheese making. She went on a cheese-making course, learning a great deal from James Hadwin, who milks sheep at Kirkby Lonsdale, and was appointed her mentor.

Having always loved working with sheep from being a little girl, entering the sheep milking enterprise proved the logical next step on the family farm. She now has 110 Friesland and Friesland cross Lacaune milking sheep although only milks 70-80 per season. The other 30 are used for breeding or replacements. The milking season lasts about six to eight months and each sheep gives a couple of litres per day milking once a day.

She also keeps 20 Hereford suckler cows with young being sold as stores, and she also has some success in the show ring with a Supreme Champion at Cartmel in 2019.


Jamie Wood

MANOR House Farm in Roxby on the North Yorkshire Moors is 220 acres and home to Jamie’s herd of 28 Jersey cows, with which they produce My Brown Cow Jersey ice cream. The farm is rented from the Roxby Estate.

Jamie also has 250 beef cattle, which are bought as calves and are sold as strong store cattle and prime beef. He prefers to buy in Angus and Limousins and crosses of these if at all possible.

Over the winter, they house 400 store lambs to be sold on in the spring as prime lamb. These are bought in from late September onwards and sold in March. Preferred breeds are Suffolk/Texel crosses.

Jamie Wood and his partner, Ellen

Jamie Wood and his partner, Ellen

They grow 170 acres of grass and 50 acres of barley to provide summer grazing and winter silage and feed for the stock.

Jamie started at the age of 11 with two goats, milking by hand and selling their milk from his parents' garden gate in Edmundbyers. At 14, before and after school, he cycled six miles twice a day to a local farm for milking.

After leaving school he worked at Lanchester dairies, and Jamie was responsible for the cows used to supply the Newcastle Jewish Community. These cows were kept separately, milked into separate tanks, bottled and taken daily to Newcastle.

From there, Jamie went to Wheelbirks Farm, a dairy farm producing ice-cream from Jersey cows. This is where he developed his love of Jersey’s and ice cream making and he began making plans for the future.

At 38, he was offered the tenancy of Manor House Farm by the owners of Roxby Estate, the Chirton family. When he moved there in 2016, the farm needed a lot of work but Jamie and his partner, Ellen, were keen to take on the challenge.

Chris Stockdale

CHRIS Stockdale and his family, of Carr House Farm, Pickering, farm 400 acres of dairy and arable.

They have 165 milking cows with about 100 followers coming through. The pedigree Holsteins are milked twice a day and yield about 10,500 litres per day. The milk is all sold through Arla.

In terms of the arable, 200 acres is grass, which is grazed and has three cuts of silage are taken, with 100 acres of wheat and 60 acres of barley grown – of which some is retained for feed but most is sold. In 1983, Chris's father built the first caravan site on the farm, with facilities for 48 touring caravans.

Chris Stockdale and family

Chris Stockdale and family

Changes were made so that Chris and his brother, John, and their growing families, were able to make a living, while still managing their arable land and dairy herd.

Improvements were made to the caravan park, which now has hardstanding, is fully serviced with water and electricity, has touring van pitches and also provision for 80 tents. These facilities were partially upgraded in early 2019 with underfloor heating added to the showers and toilets, and were finished and fully updated at the beginning of 2020.

Chris’s wife, Diane, runs the caravan park, camp site and the on-site cafe, which opened two years ago with inside seating for 28 and a further 20 seats outside. Daughter Chloe is 20 and studying a degree in agriculture at Bishop Burton, and when not at college, she helps with the cafe. Son Thomas,18, is at Askham Bryan College and has been able to spend more time on the farm during the pandemic.

John also runs Stockdale Construction from the farm, his son, Ben, 31, is also operating a business from the farm, while his wife, Helen, helps with the caravan park and café.

  • The Northern Farmer Awards 2021 will take place – virtually – on Thursday, February 25. Log onto at 7pm to watch the ceremony. Get involved on social media using #northernfarmerawards