A YOUNG farmer from Ryedale has been nominated for a national award.

Anna Hall is one five finalists in the Entrepreneur of the Year Award category at the Young Farmers’ Club national Achiever Awards which will take place on Friday, November 3 at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham.

The prestigious black-tie event will celebrate a wide range of achievements among young farmers and Anna, a member of Snainton Young Farmers’ Club, near Scarborough, said she was “over the moon” to have her efforts recognised.

Not content with running one business, 27year-old Anna has effectively launched two more off the back of her sheep shearing enterprise. Anna shears over 8,500 sheep a year. Alongside the shearing, Anna launched The Crafty Shearer, creating products from the wool she's sheared - including peg loom rugs, baubles, keyrings and greeting cards amongst other products. Anna has also recently expanded her own flock of sheep and rented more land with plans to generate a third stand-alone income from these.

Anna, who lives in Kirkbymoorside, said: “I was over the moon when I received the email saying I was a finalist; however I couldn't share the great news with anyone as we were asked to keep it quiet until the finalists were formally announced. I'm excited to meet all the other finalists and it will be fun to get dressed up for a change!”

“I increased my flock from 26 to 150 last year as I sourced some more land to graze them on and the dream would be to increase the flock further over the coming years and to have my own farm. I set up The Crafty Shearer three years ago, to run alongside my shearing business, Anna Hall Shearing, as wool is such a useful and hard-wearing product and it was such a shame to see it go to waste on so many farms after all the hard work that goes into shearing it off the sheep. I've always enjoyed arts and crafts, so when I sat down one day after the shearing season had come to an end, faced with a mountain of wool which many small holders had given me over the summer, I decided I would learn a new craft and do something with a product which is now seen as worthless. That’s how the Crafty Shearer was born. It began with small needle felted sheep keyrings, then along came a flamingo, a dinosaur, an owl, a duck and many, many more whacky and wonderful orders - all advertised and sold through my Facebook page. I now offer peg loom rugs, with a small discount for my shearing customers but also get sent wool from all over the country from recommendations on social media, to turn into rugs. I've got products in a couple of local gift and farm shops and have my first local Christmas craft fair coming up next month.”

Anna set up her shearing business back in 2012, aged 17, and is a regular competitor in shearing competitions such as at the Great Yorkshire Show.

“I often get asked about being a woman in agriculture or a female shearer and yes, I’ve had the comments in the past from the older generation of male farmers who admit after I’ve done a good job that they weren’t expecting me to.

“They make me want to do a better job than the males in the industry. My advice to others is take pride in your work and your reputation will soon go ahead of you.”

Kirsty Chapple, chairman of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, said: “We are so proud of Anna for flying the flag for the county at these national awards.

“The way she’s built up her business from small beginnings is a huge inspiration and achievement. The whole Yorkshire young farmers’ community will all be rooting for her on awards night.”