Yesterday, The Barn at Beal was announced winner of the 2010 Glendale Agricultural Society Award for New Enterprise in Association with George F. White and was presented with a trophy and £500 cheque.
Andrew Entwistle presents Vicky Smith & family with the 2010 Glendale Agricultural Society
Award for New Enterprise
Transformed from an old cart building on Rodney Smith’s 450 acre farm at the gateway to the Holy Island Causeway, The Barn at Beal has become, in two years, a highly successful café, conference and education venue and Birds of Prey Centre. The other shortlisted businesses were Swinhoe Farm Riding Centre, Belford, Springhill Farm Accommodation Bunkhouse and Wigwams, Seahouses, Kielder Organic Meats, and Pastures New Equestrian near Ponteland.
The aim of this award, supported by the sponsors George F. White is to highlight individuals who successfully use diversification to preserve the future of their family farming business. Entry is open to farmers who have established a new enterprise anywhere in Northumberland within the last five years and judged on innovation, viability and their contribution to the local economy now and in the future.
Ronald Barber, Company Director of The Society and one of the judges said: “One of our aims as a Society is to support farming and this competition is an excellent way to showcase some of the best practice examples of farm diversification projects. This year, the calibre of the entrants was exceptionally high and made for some difficult judging, but in the end, the Barn at Beal was unanimously chosen as the overall winner.”
On presenting the award George F. White Partner and another of the judges Andrew Entwistle said: “The selected shortlist, a real mix of new farming enterprises, has highlighted Northumberland’s vibrant rural economy. All the entries demonstrate a determination to create new income streams and a willingness to tap into new trends to secure the future of the family farm. “
The owner, Rodney Smith, has combined a passion for farming and the environment to create a centre to help people make the connection between the two. Rodney and his wife Vicky launched the Barn at Beal in March 2008 and during this time they have become recognised as one of the foremost farm-based businesses in the country. Last year was their first full year of operation and in addition to attracting over 70,000 visitors they were overall winner in the Beautiful Farm Awards. They now have another accolade to add to their string and this year they aim to attract over 100,000 visitors.
Rodney completes the story: “In two years, the Barn has changed quite considerably - we have learnt a huge amount and the business has evolved. Last year we were shortlisted and were beaten by the very well deserved winner Silvermoor Haylage so we are absolutely delighted to have won this time around.”
“Our ethos is where possible to use local producers and suppliers, so it is fantastic when a local show and society is supporting local businesses through initiatives such as this. The Glendale Agricultural Society and George F.White have done exactly what is needed to highlight the importance of diversification. Their getting involved at grass route levels gives young businesses a focus – we would not have won without that.”
Glendale Show, the main annual event organised by the Glendale Agricultural Society, is the largest in North Northumberland. George F. White, are one of the largest firms of independent Chartered Surveyors in the North of England with offices from Alnwick in Northumberland, to Bedale in Yorkshire.
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