Well done Simon! Congratulations are well due to Simon and his father, John Stott, for winning Sheep Farmer of the Year 2011. I spoke to Simon yesterday, to agree our 2012 sheep’s milk ‘quota’ and Simon told me that there were 135 entries. He got whittled down to the final three and would have been pleased enough with that, but to his surprise, he won Sheep Farmer of the Year.
This is great news! We are very pleased and honoured to work with Simon and his dad, congrats all round. This is an extract from a newspaper clipping about Simon an John:
A FARMER from Chipping has won a top national award in recognition of his innovative approach to the family business.
Simon Stott, of Laund Farm, has been named ‘Sheep Farmer of the Year’ in the Farmers’ Weekly honours, the only nomineee from the north of England to win.
Judges praised Mr Stott’s partnership with father John in running the farm. The citation says: “This young entrepreneur is at the centre of a vibrant family business, whch has a commercial flock as well as an impressive added value sheep milking enterprise at its heart.’’
Simon Stott is managing director of Sheep Milk UK and with his father they breed pure Blue-faced Leicesters, while the dairy milks 400 ewes.
The citation continues: “The father and son make an excellent team, combining experience in stockmanship with the energy and ambition of youth.
“The sheep milk sector is growing fast, particularly for cheese and yoghurt production as lactose intolerent consumers look for alternatives
to cow and goat milk.’’
Simon also spotted the potential to set up his own farmer co-operative selling the milk from seven neighbouring sheep farms on contracts to dairies.
The family’s pride in Laund Farm has seen them plant hundreds of trees, establish seven miles of hedgerows, build three new ponds and restore an ancient lime kiln on the land.
Simon says: “If you are an intensive farmer you have to put a bit back and it’s working well for us.
“One of the best things we have ever done is to get the grants for the hedges and the trees. It’s right for the sheep and the wildlife.’’
A £65,000 classroom has just been built alongside the farmhouse to expand their educational work and Rachael, Simon’s wife, an environmental health officer, is getting CEVAS accredited to take on more school visits.
John Stott’s father, the late John Stott, pioneered the Blue-faced Leicester in Lancashire more than 50 years ago.
Louise Welsh, agriculture manager of awards sponsor Morrisons, said: “Simon symbolises all that is great about British sheep farming.
“Excellent standards of traditional stockmanship, combined with innovation in tapping into a new market.
“His vision around environmental stewardship and education is also inspiring.’’