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Clean sweep for Manchester

Tameka Gordon
Wednesday, August 08, 2012

HISTORY was created at the 60th staging of the Denbigh agricultural, industrial and food show over the weekend with the prizes for both champion farmer and young champion farmer being copped by men from Manchester.

Lester Murray, and Nicholas Powell, champion and young champion respectively, were praised for their 'innovative' farming practices.

Murray, 49, a seventeen-year veteran of farming, markets mainly to the tourism sector. The yield from his 70-acre farm is bolstered by a 4.5-million gallon water storage system, which he uses as drip irrigation for his crops and to supply his fish pond.

"Soil sterilisation tremendously improves my output," he said, explaining the use of steam to remove pathogens from the soil.

An electrical engineer by profession, 25-year-old Powell said his training helps him to pay attention to "details" such as technological advances in agriculture and record-keeping.

The two-time young champion farmer said his love for what he described as "his calling" was inspired by his childhood trips to the Coronation Market with his father and the pride he felt in "having my own money".

"My parents gave me a small plot of land, now I have 17.5 acres" Powell said as he echoed his senior's sentiment that "your heart has to be in agriculture if you want it to be successful. "

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