THE finalists in the Three Counties Farming Awards 2019 have been revealed.

Judges, who gathered at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern to assess the nominations, faced a tough task.

The standard of entries was high, and they included some exemplary levels of achievement in agriculture in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

The Three Counties Farming Awards are organised by Newsquest Media Group, publisher of the Three Counties Farmer, and its sister newspapers and websites the Hereford Times, Ledbury Reporter, Stroud

News and Journal, Gloucestershire Gazette, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, Worcester News, Malvern Gazette, Evesham and Cotswold Journal, Tenbury Wells Advertiser, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Advertiser, Redditch Advertiser and Droitwich Advertiser.

Newsquest events director Sue Griffiths said: "We have been bowled over by the standard of the awards we received, and the judges had a very tough task in choosing the finalists.

"It has been a privilege hearing such inspiring stories of good practice in agriculture in the Three Counties.

"It is clear that local farmers are rising to the challenge of changing times and bringing to consumers more choice and greater quality, while also performing their largely unsung role as stewards

of our beautiful countryside.

"Our presentation evening this summer will surely be a night to remember for the industry!"

The judging team comprised Sue Griffiths; John Wilson, editor of the Three Counties Farmer and Hereford Times; Debra Orr, Newsquest sales director (Hereford); Bill Young, the Addington Fund; Clive Roads, Three Counties Agricultural Society; Tim Scott, Countryside Restoration Trust; Rebecca Payne, Harper Adams University; Jenny Evans, Cupid Events, and Ian Morrison, MFG Solicitors.

The awards are supported by headline sponsor Harper Adams University

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner of local produce at the Three Counties Showground on Thursday, June 13, where the guest speaker will be NFU president Minette Batters.

The finalists

Sheep Farmer: AE and V Albutt and Sons, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire (only finalist)

Cattle farmer: AE and V Albutt and Sons, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire; Kevin and Justyna Hughes, Lyde, Herefordshire; HW Smith and Sons, Ledbury, Herefordshire

Poultry Farmer: Court Farm Chickens, Much Birch, Herefordshire (only finalist)

Arable Farmer: Boddington Estate, Boddington, Gloucestershire; FM Green, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire; HW Smith and Sons, Ledbury, Herefordshire

Farming Contractor: Gamble Logistics (only finalist)

Fruit/Hop Farmer: AJ and CI Snell, Hereford, Herefordshire; Stocks Farm, Suckley, Worcestershire

Sustainable and Diversification Farmer: Churchfields Farm, Droitwich, Worcestershire; Little Owl Farm, Dunhampton, Worcestershire; Little Pengethley Farm (Two Farmer Crisps), Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

Family-run Farm: Little Own Farm, Dunhampton, Worcestershire; PG and CP Whitehouse, Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire

Young Farmer: Michael Pratt, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire; Sarah Carter, Dymock, Gloucestershire; Harry Thatcher, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

Farming Hero: Ali Capper, Suckley, Worcestershire; Margaret Herbert, Earls Croome, Worcestershire, Ian Pugh, Three Ashes, Herefordshire