AN ANNUAL award, offered by the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, which celebrates farm diversification enterprises in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is seeking entries for its 2017 edition.

The Duke of Cornwall’s Award was initially created to encourage the teaching of country skills but was expanded in 2013 to encompass a wider farm business diversification remit. The criteria now accurately reflects the need for innovation and diversification in agriculture.

The award will be made to the farm business that is adjudged to have most successfully diversified its enterprise and the organisers are now seeking nominations.

The winner will be crowned at this year’s Royal Cornwall Show, which runs between June 8-10 and will collect not only the perpetual trophy and a signed certificate, but also a cash prize of £1,000 provided by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cornwall.

This year’s recipient will follow in the footsteps of a diverse list of former winners who have created innovative businesses on the land or buildings on their farm that run alongside their core agricultural activity.

Young farmer and entrepreneur Giel Spierings, who created the Cornish Gouda Company on the family’s 136-acre farm at Lanreath in South East Cornwall, won the 2016 title.

The judging panel will be assessing entrants on their commercial viability and sustainability, creativity, value-adding to the local economy and community as well as employment opportunities, in particular for young people. B&B and holiday cottage enterprises are not eligible for this award.

Entries are invited from all sizes of business. An application form is available by visiting, calling 01208 812183 or by emailing [email protected].

Anyone can make a nomination, either for themselves or others, provided the nominee is aware.

Applicants from previous years are also welcome to re-apply, although past winners are not eligible. The closing date for applications is Wednesday, March 1.

Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association secretary, Chris Riddle, who runs the competition said: “We would encourage anyone running an eligible business on their farm to enter. The winner always attracts a lot of positive publicity, which is an extra, valuable incentive to get involved.

“There appears to be more and more inventive enterprises popping up on farms around the county and on Scilly each year. They create jobs, add to the local economy and importantly help boost the sustainability of many farms.”