Young Rougham farmer wins national award

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A young farmer who has been managing Rougham Estate Farms for the past 20 months, has won a national award.

Simon Eddell, 25, has won the chairman’s cup in the Velcourt competition.

“My father used to farm but he got out of it before I was born. I’ve always had the bug though and never considered any other career path,” he said.

He is able to grow a variety of crops including wheat for Warburtons, rye for Ryvita, oilseed rape, barley and sugar beet.

The farm also grows around 5,000 Christmas trees each year for the festive season.

Velcourt provides farm management and consultancy across a number of sectors including arable and dairy, and the competition is held annually to find the very best among its farm managers.

Judges, Chief Executive James Townshend and Chairman Robin Malim visited each of Velcourt’s 36 farm managers.

Simon won after impressing judges with how much he’s progressed since taking on the farm in April last year.

He began his management training scheme at Velcourt after completing an agriculture degree at Newcastle University.

“I don’t think I would have got to be a farm manager at 23 by any other route. The support I’ve got from Velcourt has been enormous,” he said.

“I learnt the science behind farming at university but the Velcourt scheme tells you how to farm and how to run a farming business.”

Rougham Estates has a contract farming agreement with Shrubbery Farm, Hessett, and Simon manages a total of more than 1,000 hectares.

Simon also supplies an agronomy service to a neighbouring farmer.