Talented Holmsted farmer, 23, shortlisted for Young Sussex Farmer of the Year award

Three talented young farmers from West Sussex have made it to the grand finalists list in the Young Sussex Farmer of the Year category.

On of the youngest finalists is 23-year-old Stephen Rusling, arable and contracting manager at Holmsted Farm in Haywards Heath.

Steve Rusling

Steve Rusling

A record 18,000 public votes were received for the awards this year and entries for the Young Sussex Farmer of the Year category were the highest ever.

The judges were looking for outstanding young people in the farming industry, aged 35 years or under, who may be finding innovative ways to bring produce to market, contributing to the economic and sustainable management of the countryside.

Above all, they should demonstrate leadership, vision and the ability to succeed and grow their business.

Stephen Rusling may be very young, but through hard work and a passion for the industry, he has already worked his way into a management position at Suchnoon Ltd, Holmsted Farm in Haywards Heath.

His role as arable and contracting manager, allows him to inject his enthusiasm into pushing forward new ideas and improving the efficiency and productivity of the business.

He wants to continue with further education so that he can share his knowledge with the team and work closely with the agronomist in creating not only a productive, but also an aesthetically pleasing farm.

The Young Sussex Farmer of the Year winner will be revealed and receive their trophy at the Sussex Food & Drink Awards Banquet on May 15 at the Amex Stadium in Falmer.

Tickets are selling fast for the awards ceremony where guests will join hundreds of leaders from the food, drink and farming industry for an evening involving a seven course banquet celebrating the best of Sussex.