AN exemplary family poultry business has been put forward for the Poultry Farmer of the Year award of the Three Counties Farmer Awards.

Award-winning Court Farm Chickens, of Much Birch, Herefordshire, is part of a farming enterprise started by Frank and Joan Green in the 1970s and now involves their son, Mark.

The family produces broiler chickens for Avara, formerly Cargill Meats Europe, and they have already won awards from McDonald's and Cargill in recognition of their outstanding performance.

Traditional farming enterprises on the 3,000-acre farm also include arable crops, cereals, oilseed rape, sugar beet, maize and herbage seed, which integrate with modern low-carbon technologies, with renewable energy providing power.

Poultry litter is used as a feedstock for an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant which helps reduce odour. The electricity produced is then used on the farm or exported.

As well as the AD plant, solar panels on the poultry sheds produce electricity to run the site.

Other renewable technology includes biomass boilers, fuelled with woodchip or straw, which heat the highly insulated poultry houses.

A family spokesman said: “Our vision is to continue to grow the business by investing in low carbon technologies and to improve efficiency by reducing energy consumption to a minimum.

“We are keen to use alternative enterprises to supplement traditional farming practices.”

Cereals grown on the farm are processed at Avara’s nearby Tram Inn facility to produce chicken feed, which is then returned to local farms, minimising vehicle movements and travel distance.

Last year Mark picked up McDonald’s prestigious Outstanding Farmer of the Year Award.

He is often called upon to present to national and international audiences, and last year launched Two Farmers Crisps with business partner Sean Mason.

Although marketing is dealt with by Avara, recipients of the farm’s products, such as McDonald's and Tesco, often visit the site as it is seen as an “exemplar in the industry”.

The Three Counties Farmer Awards are being organised by Newsquest Media Group, publisher of the Three Counties Farmer, and its sister newspapers and websites the Stroud News and Journal, Gloucestershire Gazette, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, Worcester News, Hereford Times, Malvern Gazette, Ledbury Reporter, Evesham and Cotswold Journal, Tenbury Wells Advertiser, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Messenger, Redditch Advertiser and Droitwich Advertiser.

The awards are supported by headline sponsor Harper Adams University, and entries are invited for 12 categories.

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, April 10.

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Three Counties Showground on Thursday, June 13.

Visit to find out more and submit a nomination for the awards.