Tom Pemberton

Tom Pemberton

Birks Farm


Tom Pemberton

Young farmer Tom Pemberton has been named this year's recipient of the Farming Hero: Flying the Flag for British Agriculture.

The 30-year-old has captured the hearts and attention of the general public as he shares his farming life through the power of digital and social media.

Having secured a loyal audience of just under 500,000 subscribers on YouTube, he has also amassed huge followings across social media, especially through Instagram and TikTok.

After returning home from the Royal Agricultural University, Tom worked his way up to become the fifth generation of his family to run Birks Farm in Lancashire.

In 2016 he was inspired to create a video about the farm’s newly installed milk vending machine, which at the time generated just 12 views.

But, thanks to a combination of his infectious enthusiasm and irrepressible passion for farming, his twice-weekly updates have now amassed millions of views across the world.

He is usually found marching around a mud-ridden landscape with a GoPro, telling viewers about the stories happening on the farm, along with much-loved banter with his dad, who is affectionately known as the Ginger Warrior.


His growing presence and big personality has proved to be a runaway success and is engaging with large swathes of the non-farming public in a humorous, but also enlightening way.

Winning many admirers within the farming community, as well as becoming part of a new wave of stereotype-smashing young farmers, Tom has gone on to front BBC3’s new tractor-racing series, The Fast and the Farmer-ish after his YouTube channel was scouted by producers.

Continuing to raise the profile of British agriculture he put pen to paper to write his first book, Make Hay While The Sun Shines.

Through his open transparency he has helped catapult the role of British farmers and the agricultural world to an audience who normally would never give it a thought in any one time of a day.

Phil Stocker

Phil Stocker

National Sheep Association

Phil Stocker

The Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture has been awarded to the Chief Executive of the National Sheep Association (NSA) Phil Stocker.

Having recently celebrated 10 years of leadership at the NSA, Phil has represented a sector who have experienced unprecedented times in UK agriculture, a restructure of trade deals and significant economic, social and political uncertainty.

With a wealth of experience and huge respect from his farming peers, Phil has also championed and lobbied the government on the pressing needs and demands of UK sheep farmers at a national and political level.

Prior to joining the NSA, he worked at the RSPB and the Soil Association for 14 years, the latter of which he spent as Director of Farmer and Grower Relations.

As his career has progressed, Phil has gained huge respect from his farming peers and remains an avid supporter of younger farmers and new entrants coming into the agricultural industry.


Speaking to a packed room of more than 800 farmers and fellow professionals, Phil was quick to credit the support he has received along the way.

He said: "I feel incredibly grateful and humbled to win this award. Agriculture is one of the best and most fundamental industries in the world, producing food and looking after the countryside and the wider environment.

"Sheep farming is central to a growing interest in sustainable farming where we integrate the protection and enhancement of our natural environment with producing food and of course fibre in the form of wool – in the hills and uplands and grassland areas but also increasingly within arable farms who are looking to reintroduce rotations/build soil quality/create new business opportunities.

"I also want to say that while this award may have my name on it, there are a lot of people – colleagues and family - who are also responsible and who have given me huge support throughout my career.

"If I have any advice it is to surround yourself with good people who share your values/interests/ and ethics – its teamwork and collaboration that has a real impact."