Molly Westwood of Panda Holsteins has been announced as winner of the Young Farmer of the Year at the 2017 Food & Farming Industry Awards.
The Food & Farming Industry Awards are staged annually by Farm Business and Lewis Business Media to recognise excellence and innovation across the agricultural sector.
Molly was presented the Award at a prestigious ceremony, hosted by well-known political broadcaster, John Pienaar, at the House of Commons on Friday 1st December.
HYB member Molly is a true inspiration to all young farmers and is a shining example of what can be achieved with hard work, passion and determination. She left school at 16 and went on to gain experience based on a farm in Canada for four years. On her return, she set up Panda Holsteins, and within one year had successfully put the herd on the breeding map and started to make a profit!
Farm Business publisher, Simon Lewis, said, “Congratulations to Molly who was a deserved winner on the night. Once again these awards have highlighted the breadth and depth of talent, drive and ambition in the farming sector. We are delighted to recognise the achievements of the winners, but also all of those shortlisted, which, in itself, is a great achievement.”
Head judge, Sean Rickard, said, “As always, every category posed some real dilemmas for the judges, such was the excellence of all the entries. But congratulations to all the winners, who each managed to demonstrate something different and special about their businesses.”
Molly was nominated by Holstein UK for this prestigious award which is a fantastic accolade for her dedication to the promotion of the breed and her herd Panda Holsteins which is well on way to be being a global name. Based in the South West, Molly is member of Devon HYB which supports the future generation of dairy farmers through seminars, workshops, competitions and networking in the UK and Europe.
Molly Westwood said, “I am truly honoured and shocked to be awarded the Food & Farming Industry Awards Young Farmer of The Year, and would like to thank Holstein UK for nominating me. I also want to thank any fellow Holstein UK or HYB members, and my family, who have helped me along the way. I am certainly pursuing my dream of breeding and developing elite Holstein genetics of my own, and hope to inspire other young breeders who also have similar ambitions.”
Miriam Bagley, Events & National HYB Coordinator for Holstein UK, commented, “We are thrilled that Molly has been awarded this prestigious title – she is certainly a deserving winner! What Molly has achieved with Panda Holsteins is a testament to her hard work and dedication. She is a great ambassador for the Holstein breed and HYB, and is always keen to get involved with the Society’s events and awards. With individuals such as Molly driving the industry forward, we should feel confident that the future of dairy farming is in safe hands.”
Photograph shows Jessica Westwood collecting the award on behalf of Molly