THE winners of the South West Farmers Awards 2021 were announced at an awards ceremony in Taunton, including farmers from the Launceston and Holsworthy area.

Nine farmers were crowned as the best in the South West, recognised not just by the judges but the gathered 160 guests.

It was a night of excitement, celebration and pride at the Somerset County Cricket Ground as each winner was recognised for their skill, passion and dedication.

Gemma Smale-Rowland, owner and creator of Cornish Moo, based at North Petherwin, received ‘Outstanding Achievement’.

The judges said: “Gemma’s contribution to the region’s farming industry is simply too large to detail here, despite her young years. She has worked endlessly for many years on promotions, inspiring young people into the industry all the while ensuring consistent results from the family’s pedigree dairy herd, chickens and sheep.”

The Vanstone family, who farm at Milford, Rhude and Lanawood Farms all based in Holsworthy, won the award for ‘Family-Run Farm of the Year’.

The Vanstones demonstrate a really holistic approach with team mentality and a support network year round, utilising individual skills and strengths for the benefit of all.

Matt and Pippa Smith run West Country Premium Venison at their Trefranck Farm in Launceston. For their work they earned the ‘Diversification Award’.

Inspired by their international travels, the couple have successfully diversified since taking on the family farm, enhancing groundworks, expanding a successful sheep flock and now more than 500 deer, generating impressive results from a growing venison market with a focus on quality from high welfare standards.

Matt and Pippa said: “Thank you to everyone that has supported the farm and West Country Premium Venison, we are truly grateful for the support we have received.”

The other South West Farmers Award winners included: Lee James — ‘Apprentice of the Year’; Emily Fleur — ‘Young Farmer of the Year’; Robert and Faye Wills of The Wills Brothers — ‘Dairy Farmer of the Year’; Mark and Emily Bury of Eversfield Organic Farm — ‘Beef Farmer of the Year’; Neville Farm — ‘Sheep Farmer of the Year’; and David Oates of Rosuick Farm — ‘Sustainable Champion’.