Local farmers up for prestigious award

Derek pictured with his children Nathan and Stacey McKeown. Picture by photographer Paul Lindsay.
Derek pictured with his children Nathan and Stacey McKeown. Picture by photographer Paul Lindsay.

Tyrone farmers Derek and Jennifer McKeown, have been officially recognised as one of the best farmers in Britain, making the shortlist for a top prize in the UK’s biggest farming awards.

Derek and Jennifer, who farm in Todds Leap Poultry, Ballygawley, has made it to the final three for the Poultry Farmer of the Year in the 2018 Farmers Weekly

Derek pictured on his farm. Pictures by photographer Paul Lindsay.

Derek pictured on his farm. Pictures by photographer Paul Lindsay.

Awards.

Derek and Jennifer McKeown took a “big leap” in building their broiler breeder farm, which supplies poultry integrator Moy Park under contract.

Despite the site being subject to adverse weather, the farm has progressively improved its hatching eggs over the years it has been in business.

The awards, now in their 14 th year, are judged by an expert panel made up of industry specialists and previous award winners.

Poultry Farmer of the Year is one of 15 categories in the awards, which are sponsored by McDonalds and global agriculture firm Corteva Agriscience.

If Derek and Jennifer win the Poultry Farmer of the Year title, that puts them in the running for the overall Farmer of the Year Award, given to the farmer judged to be the “winner of winners”.

The award winners will be announced on October 4, at a glittering ceremony in London’s Grosvenor House, in front of an audience of more than 1,000 farmers and

industry leaders.

The other award categories are: Beef Farmer, Dairy Farmer, Sheep Farmer, Pig Farmer, Poultry Farmer, Mixed Farmer, Young Farmer, Farm Manager, Farm Worker, Diversification Farmer, Far, Contractor, Farm Adviser, Agricultural Student, Lifetime Achievement, Farming Champion.