IT’s not long now until we find out who are the region’s farming heroes in our Three Counties Awards.

We will be broadcasting the awards ceremony at 7pm on November 26 via our Facebook page and in the run-up we are taking a look at the finalists in each category.

Here are those shortlisted for the Sheep Farmer award, sponsored by Belmont Farm and Equine Vets:


Frank Lloyd runs a large commercial sheep flock based at Abbeydore as well as being a multiplier sheep farm for Innovis producing over 200 Aberfield and Abermax rams.

Starting on his own in 2003, his parents gave him a base of 30 acres to work from and, through hard work, he now farms 500.

He is a hugely enthusiastic advocate of the sheep industry who has significantly changed the way he farms over the years, always adapting to find the system that best suits his farming.

He is always aspiring to improve further how he manages his sheep flock and drive down involuntary losses and improve the health and welfare of his sheep. With ever decreasing margins, Frank prides himself on producing quality breeding stock, whether it be rams or ewe lambs. He can see the real benefit of a high health approach and top end genetics

He is great at engaging with other sheep farmers to share best practice and runs an open door policy allowing many youngsters to take advantage of his learnings over the years.

On top of his 1,200 ewes, he travels around the country with Steve Rowberry, shearing over 40,000 annually, and insists even though it is hard work, he has learnt a great deal from going round other farms. He also maintains that without family support and an understanding wife, his goals would not have been fulfilled.

He is the Mr Nice Guy of the sheep world


The Stokes family, who run a successful sheep and arable farm in the Golden Valley, have had plenty of time to practice.

For the family have been tenants there for more than 100 years, with Kevin Stokes’ great grandfather the first of the family to take up the tenancy on the Duchy of Cornwall estate farm.

Monnington Court is run by dad Richard, mum Brenda and Kevin, with a bit of help from his fiancee Samantha Lewis.

Kevin’s mastery of his flock impressed the vets who nominated him.

“Recently the flocks productivity has increased due to Kevin’s close attention to detail and ensuring that all of the animals are working as efficiently as possible.

“Any issues with the flock are noted and dealt with very quickly to ensure that there is not going to be a knock-on effect to the rest of the flock. Proactive and preventative work by Kevin and the family has meant that minimal levels of medicine are used on the flock and excellent management ensures that this continues.”

Kevin is mainly responsible for the 270 Suffolk cross ewes, and they use Charolais rams.


Sam and Emily Stables arrived at Kings Pitt Farm, part of the Duchy of Cornwall’s estate, as new entrants to farming in 2015.

They farm just over 200 acres and have 400 breeding ewes, being Beltex x Texel, North Country Mules and a small flock of Swiss Valais Blacknose and Grey Face Dartmoor.

Mules and Beltex crosses are put to a Beltex tup.

Sam has a passion for producing lambs for the Christmas Fatstock Shows, and in 2019 was reserve champion at Ross and Ludlow markets.

The sheep are a small part of a diverse farming business, which also includes calf rearing and a busy livery yard.

Their nominators, Hereford’s Belmont Farm and Equine vets, said of the couple: “They have both worked exceptionally hard to be in the position that they are today and are constantly driven to improve efficiency and performance.

Sam is also nominated in the Farming Hero category for his mental health charity work.

In the face of challenging times Sam is helping other farmers through his charity We Are Farming Minds.

“Sam and Emily have dedicated a large amount of time to get this charity up and running with an aim to increasing awareness of mental health issues in agriculture and to reduce isolation in rural communities.”

For more on the awards go to