Fairfield farming couple win national award

Dean and Katie Whybrow have won an award for their Fairfield farm. Picture: Central Bedfordshire Cou

Dean and Katie Whybrow have won an award for their Fairfield farm. Picture: Central Bedfordshire Council - Credit: Archant

A husband and wife from Fairfield have won a national award for their 80-acre farm.

Dean and Katie Whybrow won a silver award in the New Entrant: Against the Odds category at the 2018 British Farming Awards.

The couple leased Lower Wilbury Farm in 2015 and have been running it on their own ever since, all while raising their young family.

Dean and Katie were delighted to receive the award, saying: “We were so pleased just to be shortlisted against some other amazing new farmers.

“To win a silver award shows that we are doing something right, and that all the long hours of hard work aren’t going to waste.”

The couple have 700 sheep, 40 Hereford cattle and 50 pigs on their farm, as well as Norfolk black turkeys which they rear for Christmas.

They also sell home-produced meat in their farm shop and open up their gates to the public for lambing weekends.

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The couple thanked the Fairfield community for their support and Central Bedfordshire Council for giving them the opportunity to run their own farm.

“It really means a lot to us to have the community behind us,” they said.

“We don’t think there are many new tenants that have gone into new farms to be welcomed so warmly by the local community.

“We are grateful to CBC too for giving us this amazing opportunity to pursue our ambition to run our own farm.”

Councillor Eugene Ghent, executive member for assets at CBC, is pleased to see the couple’s work being rewarded.

“We are delighted that this young couple have been recognised for their tremendous energy in establishing their new farm business on one of our council-owned tenant farms,” he said.

“Their win shows the importance of the council providing land to enable new entrants into the world of farming.

Mr Ghent is hoping to see more successful farms in Bedfordshire in the future, saying: “We have recently agreed our Farms Estate Plan, which outlines how we will manage our farms estate over the next ten years.

“We hope to buy more land so that we can offer farms to ambitious new farmers, like the Whybrows.”