GOLD WINNER FOR FARM WORKER
OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by: Isuzu UK
M.E.S. Dart & Partners and A.G. Hedges (Farms), Oxfordshire
Jack Bedlow is not from a farming background and openly admits his interest in farming stems from an academic base, his passion being precision farming and science.
But since joining Sherwood Farms he has developed his practical skills and is proving an excellent assistant farm manager.
A mixed arable and dairy farm, the business combines two family farms into a larger unit with two closed pedigree dairy herds and all the arable and forage ground in between. It comprises 1,220 hectares of arable rotation and 134ha of permanent grass. The land is a mixture of owned, rented, contract farming and short-term rental agreements.
Jack acts at a level between the arable team and the farm manager to help meet the owners’ targets and objectives for the farm. The main land based (arable) team of five staff, including one summer student, undertake all the arable operations, dairy support operations and estate management.
One of the main benefits Jack has brought to the farm is his experience with technology. He has worked to ensure more continuity with GPS and RTK across machines to make sure they are all running the same lines keeping compaction to the same place across the fields.
He has also collated all the farm’s yield maps into Gatekeeper to allow for better interpretation and use of data to increase yields. And he has moved spray records to the Gatekeeper web app, saving huge amounts of paperwork and making chemical ordering much easier.
In addition, he has implemented a new service record system for the 14 tractors, four loaders and various other farm machinery. He says his work has resulted in much greater efficiency and the team’s ability to cope with greater workloads.
Looking to the future Jack would like to undertake more management and leadership training, gain his BASIS and FACTS qualifications and ultimately continue to progress along the farm management ladder.
The judges said about Jack: Jack represented the future of the industry which will be much more focused on innovation, business leadership and application of new technologies. He is a well respected member of the team and his input is clearly valued by all who he works with.
On winning, Jack said: “I am very proud to have won this award. I started out on a local farm and was inspired to carry on carving a career in this industry. It’s really great to be here tonight.”