NORTH Yorkshire father and son Fred and Mark Houseman have been named Craven Cattle Mart’s 2013 Farmers of the Year.

The pair trade as Church Farm Enterprises at Burton Top Farm, Burton Leonard, where their Senterprise pedigree dairy herd achieved many championships, reserve championships and multiple prize wins at Skipton Auction Mart’s Craven Dairy Auctions in 2013.

Their consistent performance saw the Housemans –supported by wives Margaret and Tina – win both the dairy cattle and rearing calves category of the awards before taking the overall title.

The annual awards scheme recognises the contribution of regular vendors at Skipton.

Points are awarded to prize-winners at livestock shows and to the highest-priced stock in several categories at weekly sales throughout the year.

In 2009, Fred and Mark took over a greenfield site near Burton Leonard, and constructed a purpose-built dairy unit and new house. Development of the site is ongoing.

They have some 330 dairy cows and were milking 280 at the year end, averaging 31 litres per cow per day at 4.15pc butter fat, 3.4pc protein and a cell count average of 150. All their milk goes to Paynes Farm Dairies in Boroughbridge.

Mr Houseman Snr said: “We have made many friends over the years and the mart remains one of the leading dairy sales centres in the north. We are proud to continue to trade there and chuffed to bits to be chosen as 2013 Farmers of the Year.”