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Top Turkey Award for Suffolk Farmer

06 December 2013

UK - Suffolk farmer Jeremy Blackmore's turkey has won the top trophy for the first time at the Anglian Turkey Association’s annual show at Stoke-by-Nayland.

Mr Blackmore's father Richard began rearing turkeys more than 50 years ago when the family was farming near Saffron Walden. They moved to Low Farm, Huntingfield, near Halesworth, in 1981 — "Land near Stansted Airport was just getting too expensive" — and developed the turkey enterprise as well as starting in free-range eggs which is now the main business on the farm.

Their 10kg bronze turkey won the class for stags under 11kg, and was then chosen by judges David and Margaret Grove-Smith as best in show.

"We’ve had several class winners at the show over the years — but how ironical we should win the championship just the year when we weren’t there! I’m only glad our youngest daughter Vicky was there with our friends, the Binders, to collect the trophy," said Mr Blackmore, a former ATA committee member.

The Blackmore family produces around 1400 turkeys for Christmas, sold to butchers throughout Suffolk and south Norfolk as well as at the farmgate.

The other premier trophy, the Goodchild Cup for services to the turkey industry, was awarded to Paul Fields, who has been organiser of the show for many years. He was chairman for two years and for several years took on the role of secretary.

The show is now unique event in the turkey world, with entries ‘show plucked’ leaving their neck feathers intact in the traditional style that turkeys were once displayed outside butchers’ shops. The ATA is the last remaining regional turkey association, and continues to flourish with more than 150 members from the Eastern Counties and far beyond, and a busy programme of meetings and events.

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