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 on the shortlist for the Young Farmer award, sponsored by Western Power Distribution


Imi Manning is a determined and passionate young farmer who has been helping to improve best practice in sheep farming.

Imi has been back working on the family farm near Ledbury for the last two years after graduating from Harper Adams University.

During her studies, she also spent 12 months working on a dairy farm in New Zealand where she learnt key skills in the management of pasture.

Millie Whitlock, who nominated Imi for the award, said: “Her focus on improving best practice has led to improved conception rates and lambing percentage. Imi also manages the calf rearing enterprise producing approximately 600 calves a year.

“Her eye for detail and skilled stockmanship practice has been a main factor in the continued success of the enterprise, which is currently expanding to accommodate up to 1000 calves.

“Imi’s hard work, determination, passion for stock and interaction with others in the industry locally and globally has had and continues to have a positive impact on the family business”,

She is chairman of Ledbury Young Farmers. concluding with her becoming a partner in the business this year and makes her a worthy nomination.

“Imi is also a keen member of young farmers currently the chairman of Ledbury and on the county committee.”


Jo Lawrence had to sacrifice her teenager lifestyle to run the family farm after her father died when she was only 17.

Jo has been a full-time farmer since 2017. It’s no ordinary life for a teenager, with early starts and 18-hour days during some months of the year.

She said she had to take over the farm the day after her father, 50-year-old Bob, died unexpectedly in September 2017 while she was studying agriculture at Hartpury College near Gloucester.

“It doesn’t come without its tricky moments, but I love it, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it,” said 19-year-old Jo.

“Because I have the passion there it’s not as tricky as it could have been.

“I was quite fortunate I was involved anyway, it wasn’t quite as big a leap.

“Losing my dad was a massive hit to me, but I had something to concentrate on and try to make him proud.

“It helped me in a really backwards way.”

Running the 200-acre sheep, beef and arable farm in Allensmore was made slightly easier with help from her family, as well as being involved with a local young farmers’ club.


At 14 Charlie Bemand was the youngest entrant in this year’s awards, nominated after he pitched in during the coronavirus crisis.

He stepped into his father’s and grandfather’s shoes when a manning crisis hit Drum Farm at Stoke Prior, near Leominster.

With one of the workmen in the vulnerable category with diabetes Charlie ‘stepped up to the plate.’

He has spent hours in the field rolling the ground, topping and mowing the orchards.

He has been doing stock rounds daily with his grandfather, and bikes every day to the farm to check on his pedigree Texel sheep.

He has also helped deliver bags of potatoes and fresh eggs to neighbours during the coronavirus crisis – all while keeping up with his homework from school.

Charlie’s father is Stuart, one of the owners of the Bemand family farm, while his grandfather is recently retired stockman Roger Bowen, who spent 54 years in the industry, proudly telling people he began at the age 15.

Now Charlie has started a year earlier.

For more on the awards go to