• Young Organic Farmer of the Year
• Hard working and great personality
• Inspiring for much bigger producers
Norfolk farm manager Alex Parkinson has been named Young Organic Farmer/Grower of the Year for 2022/23.
Presented by Organic Farmers and Growers (OF&G), the award highlights the achievements of younger farmers who are passionate about implementing organic principles.
Mr Parkinson is a farm manager for RBOrganic – part of Burgess Farms, one of the UK’s largest organic carrot growers. Judges said he won for his “wide vision” for organic farming, the way he has learnt on the job, and his influence on larger producers to think organic.
Mr Parkinson was presented with his prize of £1,500 and a selection of books on organic and agro-ecological farming worth over £500 from Chelsea Green Publishing by Lucy MacLennan chief executive of the Organic Research Centre (ORC).
Burgess Farms agricultural director Andrew Burgess said: “Alex arrived with us as a young man without a farming background and settled in very quickly to the farm. He’s a quick learner, hungry for knowledge and a hard worker with a great personality.”
Mr Burgess added: “We’ve just watched him grow and develop over his 10 years with us, taking on more responsibility and building his knowledge. In organic farming – and horticulture in particular – attention to detail is the difference between making it or not, and he has that.”
ORC trustee chairman Donald Peck said: “What came across was his enthusiasm, technical knowledge – much of it picked up on the job – and willingness to experiment. His success shows how feasible and sensible it is for larger producers to think organic.”
Mr Parkinson was one of three finalists for the awards. The others were vegetable producers Adam Payne and Dee Butterley from Pembrokeshire; and dairy farmers Sophie and Tom Gregory from Dorset.
ORC chief executive Lucy MacLennan said the quality of entrants for this year’s award was extremely high/All finalists shared a passion for organic farming and demonstrated all the skills required to make a success of their business, she added.
“As the need to embrace organic farming methods becomes ever more evident if we are to combat climate change and address biodiversity loss, we are so proud of our finalists for the difference they are making.”
The 2023/24 Young Organic Farmer/Grower of the Year award is expected to open for applications in October. For further information, please visit www.organicresearchcentre.com