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NEWBIE - New Entrant netWork: New Entrant Business Award


The Award includes €500 towards training or an international visit, as well as funding to cover the costs associated with making a farm video, a plaque for displays on farm and the opportunity to attend a Newbie conference with other national winners from across Europe. The conferences include the opportunities for training, learning and new business approaches and networking with other new entrants and their supporters. Award winners will be showcased on the Newbie website and in the national farming press. Information about the 2019 award winner can be found here.


The Newbie UK team based at the James Hutton Institute (put link to web page here?) would like to learn more about you and your journey as new entrant. You could have come from any background to set up your business we would just like to know what made you start a farming business, what it covers and what you have achieved?

Just send us a short video (taken on your phone is ideal) 1 – 2 minutes maximum in length, telling us about you and your business. You can be as innovative as you like with the video! Please upload your video clip to us at via and in the message box mention this is an application for the 2020 Newbie Award. The UK Newbie Steering Group will select a shortlist of entries to go forwards to a second stage and those selected will be asked to an online video meeting to talk in more detail about your business. From there a winner will be selected.
Award applicants will have the opportunity to participate in a video production of their business approach. Supporting information about the Newbie project can be found on the following page. Any questions about the application or award process can be delivered to us.


Applications will be accepted 19 November - 8 March. The final award will be announced Spring 2020

Evaluation of Applications


  • Open to individuals or groups who have been operating an agricultural holding for 10 years or less.
  • The business model must have been in place for two years or more (i.e. there must be evidence of the ‘success’ of the business model).
  • Any age farmer is eligible.
  • The applicant must make use of agricultural resources (e.g. care farming, farm diversification actions are included); the business should primarily be located on a farm.
  • The applicant ban use whole farm approach, or new business activity within an existing farm operation (as long as this activity is owned by the new entrant). 
  • Applications will be evaluated by the Newbie National Steering Group. Eligible applications will be evaluated from the entirety of the application materials including a potential interview or farm visit. The National Steering Group will shortlist applications based on four evaluation criteria. When filling out applications, applicants should demonstrate how they meet these criteria. A Newbie winner may demonstrate how they meet each criteria evenly or how they especially excel in one or more areas.
  • Please forward any questions to Adam Calo

(1) Novelty/Originality of product, market and or/service offered

A focus of the NEWBIE project is sharing innovative farm business models. We are looking to highlight new entrant farm operations that demonstrate originality (indicative of independent or creative thinking) or novelty (indicative of new products, markets or services) in their farm operation.

(2) Profitability and/or other societal impact

A focus of the NEWBIE project is identifying famr business pathways that offer economic resiliency and quality livelihoods. A Newbie prize winner will demonstrate evidence of financial stability, strong plans for financial viability, creative methods for financial success, and/or distribution of benefits to a wider community.

(3) Demonstrates a model for addressing key new entrant barriers (e.g. access to land, labour, markets, profitability)

In NEWBIE, we seek to share stories about new entrant farmers that have overcome the well known barriers to entry in order to inspire others. For example, if the new entrant is a successor, how are they managing the challenges of taking over a long running business with large expenses? If the applicant is new to farming, how have they overcome high costs of land? The Newbie winner should demonstrate resilience and creativity in solving theses challenges that all new entratns face.

(4) Replicability for other new entrants

In NEWBIE, we are describing models of exciting and promising new entrants that can be taken up by others who want to get into farming or resolve challenges asosciated with becoming a farmer. The final selection should demonstrate that their situation can apply to other new entrants.

A Focus on Resilience

In dynamic times, the 2019 Newbie Award winner will highlight a new entrant business model that demonstrates "resilience" across all of the evaluation criteria.This could be presented as economic resilience through sound financial planning, demonstrable ability to respond after a significant challenge or set back, and/or a business model that takes into account future challenges like climate change or Brexit.

Application Form 

Contact information

Applicants should enter with the NEWBIE registration system.

Basic Farm Business Details

How would you describe your farm operation?

Select a size category that best describes your farm business. When selecting a category, consider the total farmable area rather than the total land area.

Of all the products you sell coming from your farm business, which provides the most income? Possible answers could be: store lamb, wool, honey, vegetable boxes, milk, ice cream, farm tours, accomodation etc.

Of your main source of on-farm income, what is the mechanism you bring product to market?  Possible answers could be: sale at auction, direct sales, farm shop, farmer's markets etc.


What percent of your total income comes from off-farm income?

Note – when answering the questions, provide as much detail as possible, making sure to highlight the strengths of your business model as potential strategies for others to follow. If possible, provide evidence in answering your questions rather than assertions. For example, reviewers appreciate statements like "Last year, we hosted 15 farmer to farmer events on our farm with over 100 farmers attending" rather than "We always help other farmers learn about our farming practices". We recommend typing your responses on a word processor beforehand so that you can save your progress in case you exit the application and to save your text for future reference.

Please describe the farm on which the new business is located. For example give details on how you acquired the location, what has the land traditionally been used to produce, how have/will you alter the location to allow the new business approach to be realised. (Guide of approximately 200 words)

If the new product/service/market is a non-agricultural activity (service etc.) what is the relation with that business to your farm/croft? (Guide of approximately 200 words)

Please describe how the business is organised. Give details including the numbers of employees, where they’re located, job titles and job duties.

Have you developed a new product, service or market? Please describe the innovative activity that your new business approach has developed to the best of your ability. (Guide of approximately 200 words)

Please describe how your business is built to survive in the long run. Give details of profitability, environmental restoration or adaptation and social impact. (Guide of approximately 200 words)

Give details of how you believe other new entrants can learn from your example? (Guide of approximately 200 words)

Give details on what key barriers your business model will address. The key barriers often discussed with regards to new entrants are barries to acces to  land, capital, markets, equiptment, and training. (Guide of approximately 200 words)

Please describe your plans for the future of this business. (Guide of approximately 200 words)

Please note that the awards are made at the sole discretion of the National Steering Groups.

The New Entrant Business Model of the Year is being awarded by the H2020 NEWBIE, project, funded through European Commission grant agreement number 772835.

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Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.