TWO families who joined forces a generation ago and now run a hugely successful farm shop enterprise have been named the overall winners at the 2021 Northern Farmer Awards.

The ceremony, held virtually on Thursday night and hosted by television personality Wendy Gibson, saw winners announced in nine categories before Simon Haigh and family, and Andrew Whitwam and family, of Bolster Moor Farm Shop, Huddersfield were revealed as the Northern Farmers of the Year.

The business has a history of supporting the community, with sponsorships of sports teams, and the purchase of a chapel for use by local groups, and introduced isolation boxes stocked with fresh meat and produce to help vulnerable residents during the Covid lockdowns.

The farm won the family run farm of the year category before being named as the overall winner, leaving Simon Haigh "gobsmacked". In an interview with Ms Gibson which closed the ceremony, Mr Haigh urged others to "follow your dreams and work hard".

"You don't win them all, but if you win a proportion of them, then you win," he said.

Northern Farmer editor Hannah Chapman said: "What a night! Congratulations to all our finalists and winners, who showcased the very best of not just northern farming, but UK farming. After such a difficult year, it was wonderful to be able to come together to celebrate how our farmers kept the country fed during the Covid crisis.

Awards host Wendy Gibson

Awards host Wendy Gibson

"A huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard to bring this event together, and to our sponsors, in particular Mole Country Stores, for supporting us."

2021 Northern Farmer Roll of Honour

Family run farm of the year: Haigh and Whitwam families, Bolster Moor Farm Shop, Huddersfield

Farm manager of the year: Bevis Jordan, Whitfield Estate, Hexham

Arable farmer of the year: John Simpson, Newfield Organics, Fadmoor, Kirkbymoorside

Dairy farmer of the year: David, Margaret and Jennie Booth, Broom House Farm, Lothersdale, Keighley

Young farmer of the year: Max Bradley, Clocken Syke Farm, Dacre, Pateley Bridge

Diversification of the year: Chris Stockdale and family, Carr House Farm, Pickering

Sheep farmer of the year: Hannah Jackson, Brookside Farm, Croglin, Carlisle

Beef farmer of the year: Robert and Wendy Phillip, The Green Farm, Hellifield

Outstanding achievement: Mark Rooke and family, Beadlam Grange Farm

Overall Northern Farmer of the year: Haigh and Whitwam families, Bolster Moor Farm Shop, Huddersfield

  • Don't miss the March edition of Northern Farmer magazine for a special supplement celebrating the 2021 Northern Farmer Awards, with pictures and reaction from the night.