Katie Jones

Katie started working at Farmers Guardian in 2006 after studying for an English degree at the University of Leicester and a Masters in newspaper journalism at the University of Central Lancashire.

She began her career at FG as a trainee reporter before progressing to Head of Livestock Sales, and then Head of Livestock, a role she has held since 2011.

In addition to this, Katie is also Editor of FG's sister title, Dairy Farmer.

Katie grew up on a dairy and beef farm in Cheshire, and now lives near the Cheshire/Welsh border on a 300-cow dairy farm run by her husband and family.

When she is not being roped into helping on the farm or running around after her two young children, Katie likes to run around on a netball court for her local team, and also enjoys walking the family's two working Cocker Spaniels.

Lyndon Edwards

Lyndon Edwards is an experienced organic dairy, beef and arable farmer with a 750-acre farm, which he runs with his son Thomas, on the Gloucestershire/Monmouthshire border.

With more than 40 years’ experience in agriculture, Lyndon has held numerous industry roles and is currently a Board member of AHDB as well as the Chair of the Dairy Sector Council. He is also the Deputy Chairman of Omsco.

Lyndon has previously chaired RABDF and Dairy UK’s Farmers Forum. He has a passion for sustainable agriculture and successfully developing various initiatives in order to ensure the successful future of the industry in the UK.

bfa shortlist

Gordon Davis

WESTCOTT Farm is a tenanted farm owned by Devon County Council, with the Davis family farming the 101 hectares (250 acres) on a farm business tenancy (FBT). A further 18ha (45 acres) are rented from the same landlord on a short-term tenancy, and a further 22ha (55 acres) rented from a private landlord on a five-year FBT.

The wider family are involved in the business, but the main family members looking after the day-to-day running are Gordon Davies, his sons Mark and Kevin, alongside herdsman Richard Saxby. The farm is home to a herd of 280 Jersey cows and their followers, with the milking portion producing about two million litres of high constituent milk each year.

Rivermead Dairy also buys-in an additional 4m-5m litres from Jersey milk producers across the south of England. Using their own fleet of tankers, this milk is then distributed to processors of high-end and specialty cheeses and deserts, alongside more traditional products, such as Devonshire clotted cream, ice cream and yoghurts. This year, the business is also collecting milk from six Holstein herds, with this milk transported to producers of halloumi, mozzarella and paneer cheeses.

Gordon says the setting up of this second dairy business has allowed the family to ‘be in control of their own destiny’. He says: “Diversifying has allowed us to purchase new equipment and invest in facilities and staff.” Noted for its success on the shows circuit, the Rivermead herd is fully housed and Richard Saxby explains there is an emphasis on cow health and welfare. Examples of this include the herd’s strict Johne’s control strategy and their commitment to reducing antibiotic usage, with only 4 per cent of the herd receiving a dry cow tube at drying off.

This is all part of their focus on sustainability, says Gordon. “The general public may well demand far higher welfare standards and accountability than they do presently. We, as farmers, need to be prepared for this and answerable to it. “We need to ensure our business and our farm suppliers are accountable for their actions and present a good image to the public at all times.”

Gemma Smale - Rowland

I am a 4th generation, milking Holsteins in Cornwall, on my familys farm selling milk to a cheese processor. A small proportion of our milk is sold through an on farm milk vending machine direct to customers. I'm also proud to represent fellow dairy farmers on the NFU national Dairy Board & AHDB Board. I feel very honoured to be asked to judge this award, this is a wonderful opportunity to make sure we showcase our industry.