The talk may have been of winter storms and incessant rain but farmers at the Moreton Show Farms and Crops Presentation Evening were more than happy to look ahead with optimism.
More than 120 people gathered for this annual presentation of trophies and certificates, sponsored by Knight Frank and the mood at the Fosseway Garden Centre near Moreton-in- Marsh was upbeat. Rose Smith, chair of Moreton Show’s Farms and Crops Committee told her audience that she was proud to be part of the farming community. ‘Farmers in the Cotswolds are a resolute, creative and determined bunch who can rise to the challenges and opportunities which face us in the near future,’ she added.
The big winners on the night were neighbours, Jason Brain and William Haines, who collected 10 trophies between them. Jason runs Peters Farm near Broadway, which was named overall champion farm. It’s a title he also won at the Gloucestershire Fruit and Grain Society Awards in November.
Jason, 27, a fourth-generation farmer, said: ‘This is the second time I’ve achieved this double. It’s all the result of a lot of hard work because, like many farmers, we faced a very difficult end to 2019 after a very wet autumn. At the same time, we’re always optimistic about the year ahead. There are always challenges and we have to rise to them.’
William Haines, of Leasow Farms Ltd at Chipping Campden, also picked up five trophies, including the Brassey Cup for securing the most points across all the competitions covering crop production.
He said: ‘My father, Eric and Jason’s grandfather, Doug were farming rivals back in the day and it’s wonderful that the two of us are still good neighbours and enjoying the same friendly rivalry.’
Among the presentations were long-service awards to Clive Jefferies, who has worked on New House Farm at Brailes for more than 50 years and Richard Fudge, who has also worked for more than 50 years at Castle Barn Farm in Churchill. There was also a long service award for Trish Dwight, for her 25 years on the Salperton Park Estate at Salperton.
The next major event in the Moreton Show year is the Bluebell Tractor Run on Sunday, May 10. The Moreton Show is on Saturday, September 5.