Young Sussex Farmer of the Year

Sponsored by Natural Partnerships CIC in association with Farmers Weekly

Natural Partnershop CIC

An outstanding farmer aged 35 or younger, who is working within food or drink production in agriculture, horticulture or viticulture in Sussex. He or she should show vision, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.


Daniel Hird
Dan Hird, Lambert Farm, Plumpton, East Sussex

Daniel Hird, aged 32, was appointed as Farm Manager, Lambert Farm, Plumpton College in April 2017 to oversee a turnaround in its performance, standards and culture with a clear remit to ensure that it delivered the best possible example of farming practice to the community, industry and students. Daniel has a real passion for farming, limiting impacts of the farming operation on the environment and teaching others to encourage new entrants into the industry. He strives to ensure the farm demonstrates best practice in all that it does. The farm is now a fully profitable operation whilst at the same time being utilised as a learning resource for over 300 students and large numbers of various external groups/organisations. Daniel has embraced new technologies within the day to day operation and ensured access to these are available for the teaching team and learners.

Judges comment:

Philip Clarke, Executive Editor, Farmers Weekly, said: ‘Highly motivated, determined to make his own way in the agricultural sector, despite coming from a family farm, Dan is determined to make the Plumpton College farm one of the best in the country. He came into the farm manager’s job at a difficult time, but has restructured teams and processes to best effect and is a team player who supports his staff in their career development.’


Connor Haydon (aged 27) working at Goodwood Estate, West Sussex
  • Outward looking, having travelled afar and worked in a variety of farm sectors to broaden his experience
  • Natural achiever, running multiple enterprises at Goodwood, while still in his twenties
  • Leads by example, not afraid to get his hands dirty
  • Strategic thinker, with short-term and medium-term plans for the business
Dan Wells (aged 25), who was working at Holmbush Farm, Balcombe, West Sussex
  • Strong people manager, effectively running a team of mixed ages and mixed nationalities
  • Great attention to detail, which has enabled him to get on top of lameness and mastitis in the herd
  • An ambassador for the sector, via NFU channels and on social media
  • Ambitious, wanting to win the “Gold Cup” for dairying by the time he is 30