Farmer’s son Robert Wheelhouse, 18, from Holly Farm, Hooton Roberts, near Rotherham in South Yorkshire is the lucky winner of a lorry load (27 tonnes) of Nitram fertiliser, worth over £8,000.Robert entered the competition, organised by GrowHow UK, when he visited the company’s stand during the Cereals 2012 event in June. To say the least he was very surprised when GrowHow contacted him with the news. “I was pretty much speechless,” he said. “You enter these things but you never really expect to win.” Robert’s parents John and Sara Wheelhouse were pretty surprised too – “We’ve never won anything like this before,” they said. The prize was delivered on 29 August so room has had to be made in the shed to accommodate the load. “We don’t usually take delivery of any fertiliser until Christmas,” explained John.
The Wheelhouse family are third generation tenant farmers at Holly Farm where John’s grandfather first took on the farm in the 1930s. Both children, daughter Sally and son Robert are looking to make their careers in agriculture. Sally is currently contracting whilst Robert is about to embark on year 2 of his Level 3 Diploma in Agriculture at Askham Bryan College near York. The 500 acre mixed farm comprises around 40 acres of grass for the cattle and sheep with the remaining acreage down to wheat, rape and barley. In his spare time, as well as helping out of the farm, Robert is looking to expand the farm’s sheep enterprise.The competition, which involved answering fertiliser-related questions, ran throughout the summer. It was widely promoted by Farmers Weekly with opportunities for farmers to enter online, or by post, as well as on the GrowHow stand at the Cereals show. GrowHow Business Adviser Dave Towse was on hand to congratulate the family when the prize was delivered: “Everyone has been very enthusiastic about the competition and we were very pleased to welcome more visitors to our stand at Cereals on the strength of this. It was great to see that the Wheelhouse family were genuinely delighted with their prize. Thousands of farmers entered the competition and the vast majority demonstrated that they knew their fertilisers well. All the correct answers were entered in the prize draw, so as well as skill to answer the questions, Robert also needed good luck.”Nitram is not currently used at Holly Farm but John and Robert plan to take this opportunity to assess the product by spreading it on selected fields so that they can make comparisons.