Farm Manager of the Year
Tim Goodman, North Hills Farms – Wilton Estate
Having attended Shuttleworth Agricultural College for three years, Tim Goodman initially worked on an estate on the Beds /Herts border. Tim moved to Wilton in 1989 to assume the role of farm manager for North Hill Farms, being the in-hand farming company of the Wilton Estate. In 2006, Tim was asked to take on the management of the farming company in its entirety. Since doing this the Estate farm has progressed tremendously and Tim has been responsible for introducing new machinery and technologies, which wasn’t the case previously.
Tim manages the 1,400 hectares, with a team of four staff, 1,200 of these being arable. Since 2010 an ELSHLS stewardship scheme has been in place, which is successfully inspected twice yearly. Tim believes by encouraging staff to put forward their opinions on machinery or other matters, they have ownership of the work they carry out, which leads to increased productivity. In addition to his main role, Tim also carries out extra duties including managing the estate’s digital mapping system, overseeing the estate’s renewables company and working with the local community with issues such as flood defence.
The estate views Tim as a true professional in everything he does. His knowledge of the grain market, supply chain and machinery is as good as any farm manager’s could be. His attention to detail in agronomy and precision farming is excellent. His team are well trained, courteous and professional and clearly all get on extremely well with him. He has placed the farm estate in an excellent financial state to face future challenges ahead in these uncertain times.
Andrew Williams, Home Farm Nacton
Andrew Williams has transformed Home Farm Nacton in size, number of workforce and intensity of cropping, since he took over the management in 1996. In 2014 the farm changed from a partnership to a company. In the past 20 years, turnover has increased far beyond expectation and all improvements and new technology etc have been financed by profits, generated through the work that Andrew and his team have carried out.
Home Farm Nacton covers 1,950ha and grows 30 types of conventional and organic horticultural crops. In the past 18 years the business has been shaped by a high level of investment in water management and irrigation, removing a constraint which once limited production to potatoes, carrots, sugar beet and cereals with limited yields and returns. This has allowed Andrew to develop markets for crops produced early and late in the season, which allows two crops to be produced in a year and comes with a premium price over main crop production.
Andrew has also introduced 40km of underground mains, phone-controlled hose reel irrigators, trickle irrigation for organic and high value conventional varieties of potatoes, internet connected soil moisture stations to aid irrigation decision making, RTK GPS guidance to the fleet of tractors, crop sprayers fitted with GPS nozzle control to increase accuracy of pesticide applications, camera guided and computer controlled weeding equipment, five computer controlled onion stores and three computercontrolled potato stores. Customers can now purchase a greater variety of vegetables, in own-branded boxes.