Top farming award an “honour” for Jon

THERE’S nothing sheepish about this farmer from Offley, who won a top award for farmer of the year in a national competition yesterday (Wednesday).

Jon Birchall, farm manager at Pilkington Farms in Offley, Hitchin, was announced the winner of the prestigious BBC Farming Today’s Farmer of the Year accolade at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham.

He is well renowned for keeping rare breeds of pigs and cattle, and has the largest flock of Wiltshire Horns in the country.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic. It’s a really big thing in my book, a great honour,” said Jon.

“We have gone from having arable land to an extensive grass land farm, which is the best thing for here, right on the edge of the Chilterns.”

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Jon has been commended for the restructuring of the land using agri-environment schemes, and keeps records of all his yields and inputs.

His success will be profiled on The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4 tomorrow (Friday) at 9am.

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