Devon growers receive Young Organic Farmer award

Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

The Organic Research Centre’s Young Organic Farmer/Grower of the Year 2021 title has been awarded to Devon growers, Ashley Wheeler and Kate Norman.

Wheeler and Norman have been running Trill Farm Garden near Musbury in Devon for eleven years and credit soil management – on a site that has a high water table and difficult drainage issues – as a large player in their success story.

“It is fantastic to get this recognition, which reinforces the value of our focus on soil management, seed sovereignty and organic production methods in our business,” said Wheeler.

On top of soil management, the judges also recognised Wheeler and Norman’s commitment to ongoing training.

Wheeler has also been involved ins setting up The Landworkers Alliance, the Seed Sovereignty programme, the Mentoring Programme and the Traineeship Programme – organisations that are inspiring the next generation of organic growers.

Wheeler continued:

Now, more than ever before, organic farming principles offer an opportunity for mainstream agriculture and horticulture to embrace nature-friendly farming and deliver sustainable and resilient food production across the UK.

“That’s why we’ve been focused on supporting training schemes and mentoring young people as they embark on their careers in the industry.”

Along with the title, the pair received a donated prize of £1,500 and a trophy.

The Young Organic Farmer/Grower of the Year award​

The Young Organic Farmer/Grower of the Year award is open to entrants that are less that 40 years old. Nominees must be able to demonstrate that they are clearly producing to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) standards of health, ecology, fairness and care.

There is no requirement to be organic-certified to enter; however, nominees should be working in and for the organic community.

Nominees that missed out on this year’s award but were highly commended include: Rosa Holt from Huntly, Aberdeenshire; the Wicton Farm team near Bromyard, Hereforshire; and Juno Norman, from the Chilterns.

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