Farmer from Tilbrook wins prestigious industry award

Hugh Sapsed, second from left, has been named farmworker of the year.

Hugh Sapsed, second from left, has been named farmworker of the year. - Credit: Archant

A lifetime of working on farms has led to Hugh Sapsed winning a top industry title - Farmworker of the Year for 2017.

Hugh, 56, from Tilbrook, was presented with his Farmers Weekly award by Giles Brandreth in a ceremony at Grosvenor House, in London.

“I suppose it is in recognition of all my years in the industry,” said Hugh, who works for John Sheard Farms, of Pertenhall.

He was one of three finalists in line for the award and was put in top spot by the judges.

The judges heard about Hugh’s innovations around the farm, including time-saving methods which save the equivalent of 50 days a year and bringing in a diverse range of contracting work.

They praised his enthusiasm for continuous improvement, support for young staff and the community and his striking a good work-life balance.

Hugh, who won the title Combine Driver of the Year in 2012, has been in the industry for nearly 40 years and at his present farm for 12.

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He said today’s farm workers had to master a range off high-tech aids and the combine he uses was

fitted with GPS, air-conditioning, a CD player, and phone.

“The GPS in your car is accurate to about three metres but the GPS in a combine is accurate to 2.5cms,” he said.

Hugh said he had been “surprised” at emerging as the winner of the prestigious award. One of the other finalists was Stephen Adams, from Caxton.

He was also a retained firefighter at Kimbolton for 12 years, adding: “It was my way of giving something back to the community.”