Sam Bailey was announced as the 2019 Young Farmer of the year at the Farmers Weekly Awards last Thursday (3rd October). The Young Farmer of the year category was sponsored by Innovation for Agriculture.

Sam has the impressive title of being both Staffordshire County Councils youngest farm tenant and the youngest ever appointed when he successfully applied for 31ha Green Lane Farm.

Sam, who now has a flock of 250 ewes and a herd 140 Holstein and Jersey Cows, was chosen for the council tenancy over 104 other applicants.

Over the last two years Sam has invested in improving the tenanted farm by modernising the sheds, doubling the capacity of the parlour, and adding a 4,500-litre tank and 14t-capacity silo.

Keen to continue learning about the sector and how he can improve his own business, Sam regularly visits other farms as part of Mullers three-year ‘Next Generation’ programme, which allows him to benchmark his results among his peers.

When asked what set Sam ahead of the rest, independent judge Hannah Moule said “Sam has demonstrated sheer grit, determination, and hard graft, combined with business acumen and a willingness to learn, from a very young age. I have no doubt that Sam will have a successful career”.

Talking about his plans for the future, Sam said that he hopes to move on from the security of his tenanted farm, to a larger holding with more shed space within a few years, allowing for an increase in herd size.

From all of us at IfA we would like to wish Sam our huge congratulations and all the success in the future.