West Sussex farmer crowned Organic Dairy Farmer of the Year

John Pitts receives the award for Organic Dairy Farmer of the Year
John Pitts receives the award for Organic Dairy Farmer of the Year

A West Sussex farmer has been crowned National Organic Dairy Farmer of the Year at this year’s British Dairying Cream Awards in Warwickshire.

Fourth generation farmer and Managing Director of The Woodhorn Group, John Pitts has been crowned the title.

The judges reached their decision to award the West Sussex based farm after being “impressed by John’s passion and commitment.”

“His grass and maize silage crops were excellent examples of the attention to detail paid to all aspects of this sustainable Organic farming business in West Sussex,” the judges said.

On accepting the award, John Pitts said: “We started our Journey as an Organic farm twenty years ago. It’s been an extraordinary learning curve with many challenges as a result of no longer having access to pesticides and artificial fertilisers.

“I certainly fell back in love with farming as a result of getting closer to nature. The whole farm has become its own nature reserve and the ever increasing population of everything good – from insects and wildflowers to birds and worms – has been a joy.

“It’s simply not possible to produce organic food without livestock which provide natural fertility and enable proper crop rotations.”

Mr Pitts added: “Our cows are therefore central to our whole organic farming system and the team that manage them – Graham Rowles (Herd manager), Tracy Acott and Tim Hill – manage the herd to the highest standards with an emphasis on welfare and sustainability.”

The Cream Awards were created to recognise some of the brightest and best businesses and people across the dairy industry.

Arla, the UK farmer-owned cooperative, was recognised for its dairy industry standards programme at the awards.