The Resilient & Ready Farmers

Meet the farmers

Ben Lowe and Harriet Ross

Newseat of Dumbreck Farm, Udny, Aberdeenshire

About Ben and Harriet

New entrants Ben and Harriet took over Newseat of Dumbreck Farm on a three-year Farm Business Tenancy from the Aberdeen Endowment Trust in July 2019. BASIS-qualified Harriet is a farming consultant with Strutt & Parker while Ben is an agronomist with Agrovista.

Ben and Harriet took over the tenancy on the eve of Ben’s 30th birthday. In the 6 months since, the pair have been learning about the farm’s land and buildings while developing new income streams. Nursery pigs and cattle are housed on a bed and breakfast basis with 115ha of arable land farmed in tandem with Harriet’s father’s 180ha, about five miles away. They work closely with a neighbouring farm supplying grass silage from 40ha of land to an anaerobic digester to improve the farm’s rotation and increase biodiversity. 

Craig and Claire Grant

Kindrought, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire

About Craig and Claire

Craig returned to farming in 2008 after working as an engineer in the oil industry. He and Claire started farming in their own right in 2010, investing in egg production with a 72,000-bird laying hen business. They bought and rented additional land and farm about 160ha with 150 high health status beef cattle and a joint venture running a 2,000 pig place finishing unit, as well as taking on another poultry site in 2020 with an additional 76,000 laying birds. In total, the pair have 148,000 birds made up of free range and colony birds. They also act as contractors for neighbouring farms and run a small building business. Craig was the Farmers Weekly Young Farmer of the Year in 2012.

Andy Bason

Newhouse Farm, Alresford, Hampshire

About Andy

Sparsholt College graduate Andy has been the manager at Newhouse Farm for 10 years. The 800ha estate has 600ha put to arable cropping which has been min-till cultivated for two decades. Andy uses variable rate technology for fertiliser, nitrogen and seed with parts of the farm set aside for trials to test new techniques in crop management. Elsewhere, there is 70ha of woodland, a small sheep flock and a pig herd. In 2021, Andy also won a tender to contract farm a neighbouring business and has taken on another 400ha as a result, which nearly doubles the total land area he manages.

Nick Down

Yattendon Estate, Yattendon, Berkshire

About Nick

Nick has managed the farming enterprise of the 3,200ha Yattendon estate since 2017 on behalf of Velcourt, after management roles in Wiltshire for the past 14 years. The huge site includes 2,000ha of combinable crops which are established in a min-till system. The Estate is also home to 130ha of Christmas trees and 160 let properties plus 40 commercial and light industrial units which have been converted from old farm buildings.