12 inspiring people in Gloucestershire farming and farming –

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Gloucestershire has a solid reputation for engineering, cyber, tech and manufacturing companies – but nothing has shaped the county like its agriculture.

To present the industry, we tapped into knowledge sources from Hartpury College and University, Royal Agricultural University, Farm491 and the NFU. And, with their help and support from Frank Smith Solicitors, we have put together a definitive list that demonstrates the breadth and depth of farming and farming talent that we are fortunate to have here in Gloucestershire.


About the Sponsor – Frank Smith & Co Solicitors

Frank Smith & Co Solicitors was founded in 2017 in Cheltenham and has established itself as a tailored and essential expert in real estate law, private client law and agriculture. He has particular expertise in advising the families of landowners and farmers and those involved in the equestrian sector.

The founder, Frank Smith (pictured) is a nationally recognized property legal expert and is recommended by Chambers UK and Legal 500. The firm supports the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) and the Addington Fund, which support both community farming county and UK wide.

For more information visit franksmithandco.com.


1. Adam Henson from Cotswold Farm Park

Known to millions as the host of the popular BBC1 TV show Countryfile, Adam Henson is also the face of Cotswold Farm Park, also known as Bemborough Farm near Guiting Power, Gloucestershire.

Born and raised on this same farm, he helped make it the extremely popular family attraction that it is today. Henson continues to champion agriculture, the problems it faces, rare breeds, and the wonders of farm life.


2. Sam Phillips from The Cotswold Mobile Dairy Ltd

Sam Phillips is spearheading a new mobile dairy initiative, The Cotswold Mobile Dairy Ltd, directly linked to Macaroni Farm in Cirencester and its high welfare sheep system and fully organic regenerative farming system.

Phillips completed the Worshipful Company of Farmers program at Royal Agricultural University.


3. David Wilson of the Fir Farm

David Wilson, of Fir Farm, near Cheltenham, has gone from a large dairy business to an organic mixed-breed farm, fully integrated with a herd of pasture-fed cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and poultry .

The farm also grows organic arable crops as feed for poultry and pigs, ensuring all of its animals are fed only feed produced on the farm. He is described by the RAU as “a great ambassador” of agriculture.


4. Charles Martell by Charles Martell & Fils

Charles Martell was a legend during his lifetime in the world of food and agriculture in Gloucestershire. A former High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, he has also repeatedly found the spotlight for his daytime work, most notably creating the Stinking Bishop cheese, made famous in the Wallace and Gromit movie theater.

Besides being a master cheese maker, he is a serious farmer, a champion of rare breeds, an accomplished distiller of pear and apple spirits. And then there’s his orchard of rare British apples saved from extinction and his passion for the slow food movement. The list goes on.


5. Charlie Whitehouse from Bradley Farm

Charlie Whitehouse’s Wotton-under-Edge business is described as a “very progressive” farm business. It now occupies 840 ha (2,075 acres), much of it leased to 15 different owners.

The key company is a 1,000 head dairy goat herd housed year round. The herd of goats shares the farm with a large sheep farm, with herds of Charollais and Lleyn breeds as well as cross-bred commercial ewes. These produced a lamb stamp which supplies the Mayhill Lamb Producers Group. There are also 1,600 reserve lambs fattened from forage crops and seed meadows.


6. Ben Thompson of Hartpury College and Hartpury University

Ben Thompson is only 28 years old, but he is the Director of the Agro-Tech Center at Hartpury University and Hartpury College in Gloucestershire. He has extensive experience in the agro-technological sector covering national and international research projects, business development and commercial practice.

Ben’s experience which was supported by practical farm management training in mixed farming systems. He is described as having “a determination to contribute to sustainability in the agricultural sector through my work; to solve the current and future challenges of the industry .


7. Jess Vaughan from Jess’s Ladies Organic Farm Milk

Jess Vaughan led the way in transforming the production of her British and Brown Swiss Frisian cows from the family farm in Hardwicke into cult ingredients. In addition to milk, its cream, yogurt, and kefir are revered for their rich, unspoiled flavors. Vaughan’s secret? ‘A Little Herd of Happy Cows’ affectionately known as Jess’s Ladies.

Its products are mainly sold through farm shops and cooperatives in the South West and Midlands, new distributors have now made nationwide shipping possible, starting with overnight, ordered kefir deliveries. in line.


8. Dominie Fearn from Wild Hare

Founder and Director of The Wild Hare Group, based in Cheltenham, Dominie Fearn is a champion of both sustainable food producers and the best of British farming. Think of ready meals, then imagine the absolute antithesis, ready meals made with the best products of British farming and farming.

Initiated by Fearn, the Wild Hare Group meals range from vegetarian curry with butternut squash and cauliflower and chickpea dhal to braised chuck steak in British red wine and classics like shepherd’s pie.


9. Kitty Stainsby from Wye Organic

Kitty Stainsby is originally from Sussex but moved to Gloucestershire after earning a degree in Criminology to follow her true passion – farming. Not coming from a farming background, she fell in love with the idea while helping out in a lambing shed and graduated from Hartpury University.

She is now a first generation farmer in the Forest of Dean, near Ruardean, with her partner, James. His company, Wye Organic, aims to produce fully pasture-fed organic beef and lamb as well as organic vegetables without digging.


10. Professor Tom Macmillan of the Royal Agricultural College

Tom Macmillan is described as very influential in agriculture and food policy and was instrumental in shaping the national food strategy. The Gloucestershire-based professor focuses on informing national and international policies relating to the land sector, environment and food.

Tom was previously Director of Innovation at the Soil Association, founded the Innovative Farmers Network and is Research Manager for the RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission and Deputy Director of the National Innovation Center for Rural Enterprise (NICRE).


11. Ian and Cathy Boyd, and their daughter Steph Ackrill from Whittington Lodge Farm

Cathy and Ian Boyd raise Pedigree Hereford cattle at Whittington Lodge Farm near Cheltenham with the help of their youngest daughter, Steph Ackrill.

Third generation farmers use what they call ‘regenerative methods’, focusing on the soil to produce what they passionately believe is a more environmentally friendly way of farming – and a better one. product.

The beef sale started almost by accident 11 years ago and the family has now turned part of their land into wildflower meadows to help them produce 100% pasture-fed cattle.


12. Charlie Beldam of Cotswold Gold

Charlie Beldam, the son of an avid farmer and foodie, started Cotswold Gold in 2010 as a diversification business based around his family’s arable farm near Broadway.

The farm was already producing high quality rapeseed and Mr Beldam wanted to see if this crop could be turned into a quality end product that would inspire the food industry and promote British agriculture. Its Cotswold Gold rapeseed oil is a premium extra virgin rapeseed oil rich in omega three, six and nine and low in cholesterol.


For more information visit franksmithandco.com.


By Andrew Merrell


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© SoGlos
Monday 08 November 2021



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