Tag Archive: Northern Farmer

Celebrating Diversity

With the rural sector facing both challenges and opportunities in the coming years we look at one individual who has taken a very different approach to diversification.

Diversity

Over the past few years, George F. White have been delighted to support a number of awards across the region. We have been proud to learn about, and meet, many outstanding individuals and businesses in the rural sector.

From established traditional farming businesses through to diversification projects, and even individuals beginning their journey, the experience of being involved in regional awards, meeting the faces behind the stories, is a fascinating insight into the breadth and depth of skills and entrepreneurial spirit on our doorstep.

In early 2018 we were delighted to be part of the judging team for the Northern Farmer Awards, through our sponsorship of the Outstanding Achievement Award. Following many hours of deliberation amongst the knowledgeable and experienced panel, the winners were decided upon.

Whilst all those shortlisted, and of course the eventual winners, each are worthy of individual praise, there was one entry that stood out from the rest… that was Denys Fell who runs a farm near Hull in East Yorkshire.

Denys farms approximately 270 acres, mixing both organic arable and livestock in addition to fruit and nut trees, potatoes and cut flowers. However, it is not his endeavours in growing wheat or managing the flock of 200 sheep that stood out, but rather his diversification project, a community care centre based on Densholme Community Care Farm which really captivated the judges.

Denys saw the impact of the Foot and Mouth crisis in 2001 and was determined to help farmers struggling with loneliness, isolation and mental health issues, but he wasn’t really sure how.

Almost a decade ago, he invited three young men with profound mental health issues, living in a local care home, to visit the farm to help plant potatoes. Denys immediately saw the benefits of how the farm could provide assistance to those with disabilities, mental health issues, learning difficulties or suffering from addictions. The seed was planted.

Denys set up Densholme Community Care Farm, separate to his farming business, as a social enterprise which now employs ten people and looks after over 70 students per day. All the students have disabilities, mental health issues or learning difficulties and attend for up to four days per week on an entirely voluntary basis.

Denys is incredibly proud of the success of the project; how it has allowed the students to develop friendships, learn new skills and visibly grow in confidence.

It was telling that, for the Outstanding Achievement Award, the judging panel were unanimous in Denys being the winner. It was certainly no surprise on the night when he went on to pick up the Northern Farmer of the Year Award.

Diversification is a topic of significant debate at the moment with Brexit likely to bring about both new challenges and opportunities for those in all business sectors, but particularly rural enterprises. Understandably with much focus being on the efficiency and profitability of such businesses, it is all the more reason that the project undertaken by Denys Fell stood out above many impressive stories from all of the nominations.

To learn more about Denys Fell and the Densholme Community Care Farm, click here.

Northern Farmer Awards 2018

George F. White is sponsoring the ‘Outstanding Achievement of the Year Award’ at the Northern Farmer Awards.

Northern Farmer 2017 Winners

Now in its fifth year, the Northern Farmer Awards, sponsored as a whole by Mole Country Stores, gives the farming industry of the North the chance to stand up and be recognised for their achievements, representing the future farming generation.

Supported by industry experts, the event gives local farmers, suppliers, breeders and everyone involved in the industry the chance to celebrate and the recognition they deserve for the tremendous work they do throughout the year without hesitation.

The awards will be held on 15th February 2018 in Harrogate, with Wendy Gibson as the host, who is known for having co-presented nightly the evening television news programme, Look North for many years.

 

Northern Farmer Awards: Outstanding Achievement of the Year

The category is open to nominations for those demonstrating an outstanding achievement in the agricultural industry. We want to recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to farming throughout their time in the industry and can provide evidence with this success. For example, you may know someone who has a highly successful business and deserves to be recognised for their innovations and achievements. Alternatively, it may be somebody who is forward thinking and has seen positive results by demonstrating the very best in farming practices?

The deadline for nominations is 10th November.

Nominate here

X