ORC’s Young Organic Farmer/Grower Award is back for its second year 

Nominations have opened for this year’s Organic Research Centre Young Organic Farmer/Grower of the Year (YOFY) Award.

Organisers are looking for ”a forward-thinking, innovative organic farmer/grower who is passionate about implementing organic principles, has proven strong leadership skills and deserves recognition for their work”. The award was first launched last year.

The ORC is a leading UK independent research organisation for organic and agroecological farming approaches, and is offering the 2022 YOFY award winner a £1,500 cash prize. It is also working with Chelsea Green Publishing, the leading publisher of books about organic farming, gardening, smallholding and more, who are donating ‘A Complete Grower’s Library’ of books on organic and agroecological farming to the 2022 winner, worth over £500.

Last year’s YOFY winner, Ashley Wheeler of Trill Farm Garden, Musbury, Devon, said: “It was fantastic to get the recognition through the Organic Research Centre’s Young Organic Farmer/ Grower of the Year Award. The £1,500 cash prize enabled us to show our appreciation to everyone who works with us in the market garden (and makes the business what it is!) by taking the team out for a meal.

”It also paid for a holiday at the end of the season, which although sounds unrelated to farming, was actually a great way to re-energise after a long year. Growing is a full-on career, and we all need a little rest from time to time, but it’s not always easy to allow yourself that.”

Lucy MacLennan, ORC’s chief executive, added: “We are thrilled to be running the YOFY award for its second year. We hope both prizes will be hugely beneficial in helping to continue to inspire the next generation of organic farmers and growers to continue to transition to more naturally healthy and resilient farming systems”.

You can apply or nominate someone by completing a form which can be downloaded from the ORC’s website. Nominations are open for people who are under 40 years old on 30 September 2022, whose work centres around the adoption of organic principles (even though the nominee may not yet be organically certified) and who are working in and for the organic community. They may be employed by farmers or organisations within the sector even if they do not class themselves as farmers.

The deadline for entries is 30 September 2022.