We are pleased to announce that Richard Mellor, BQP farmer, has been crowned Pig Farmer of the Year 2021 during the Farmers Weekly Awards last night (07 October).

This year BQP represented two out of three finalists which also included Ryan Dyer from Hall Farm, Norfolk. Pig Farmer of the Year is a tough category which requires pig producers to meet high standards. This includes high levels of output, top technical performance, commitment to staff management and a drive to improve production and welfare.

Andrew Saunders, Agriculture Director, was thrilled to hear the good news and said: “We are all very happy for Richard who adds an extra award to his growing list of achievements. To have a BQP farmer recognised as Pig Farmer of the Year proves how well the BQP model is working and what can be achieved by this unique partnership. I also want to congratulate Ryan as a finalist and all his hard work and dedication as a BQP farmer.”

Since taking on the 140ha (346-acre) county council Grange Farm, near King’s Lynn, seven years ago, Richard has made great strides to improve production and make the business as self-sufficient as possible. The farm houses a 990-sow outdoor breeding unit on a two-week batch production system, with weaned piglets transferred at five weeks old into the BQP Pilgrim’s supply chain.

Simon Barber, BQP Breeding Farms Fields Person, supports Richard Mellor and explained: “I am thrilled that Richard has won. His attitude and willingness are why we see him as the benchmark of success within the BQP family. He is always eager to try new ideas and has amazing attention to detail. But even better, is his willingness to share best practice and open his farm to visitors so they can see and understand his success – the very reason he is consistently one of BQPs highest performing farms over the past four years.”

Andrew added: “I also want to thank the BQP team who work closely with our farmers like Richard and many more. Thanks to this award, and others, we can shine a light on our BQP ‘working together’ partnership. These awards are also a way of encouraging others, who are thinking of joining the BQP family, to see what can be achieved through our support and guidance.”

Farmers Weekly’s farming awards celebrate the best of British agriculture by recognising hard-working and innovative farmers across the UK. You can read through all the winners and learn more here.