A HEREFORDSHIRE farmer has been crowned poultry farmer of the year.

Nigel Edwards of Clehonger-based Whittal Poultry was given the title at the Farmers Weekly awards ceremony on October 5, in front of an audience of over 1000.

He described the experience as ‘an achievement’ and like being at ‘the Oscars of Farming Awards.’

The Poultry Farmer of the Year judges said: “Attention to detail is everything for Nigel, as he combines modern technology with years of experience in the poultry industry.”

Mr Edwards ‘steers the ship’ at the high-tech Whittal poultry facility, sourcing day-to-day inputs, liaising with contractors, and co-ordinating feed deliveries and turnaround.

The 208,000-bird unit was constructed in 2019 when the company made the move from the egg sector to broiler production. It boasts computerised monitoring systems, solar panels, underfloor heating and two ground-source heat pumps.

“Whittal built the future when he built it four years ago,” Mr Edwards said.


“It’s a very modern, recyclable farm. We don’t produce much waste.”

His long career as a poultryman, including time spent working at Hereford’s Sun Valley, convinced Philip Whittal that he was the perfect person to head such a facility.

In his time at Whittal Poultry he has achieved 10 successive European Production Efficiency Factor scores of above 420 since May 2021 and is in the top ten per cent of Avara broiler growers.

“I’ve been doing it for 45 years so I must enjoy it,” said Mr Edwards.

“I’m very enthusiastic, I could do it in my sleep.”