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Earlier this year, our Masons Rural team were delighted to sponsor the Future of Farming Award (Young Farming) at the inaugural Lincolnshire Food & Farming Awards.

In the autumn, our judges, Lucy Turner from the Masons Rural team, and Sarah Lamballe, Marketing Manager, attended a delicious afternoon tea at Bells Tearoom in Lincoln, reviewing 220 entries across 13 categories along with other judges from the region.

Sponsoring the Future of Farming Award

Managing Director Simon Williams said “We felt this was an important award for us to sponsor as we have such a long history of working closely with farmers from generation to generation. We feel passionate about helping young farmers to develop their ideas, whether that is sourcing funding, planning permission to convert buildings or just have the right kind of business support to make their farms more sustainable for future generations. As Masons Rural we’ve been helping since 1850 and we continue to do so.”

“While judging the entries, we discovered some exceptional new businesses along with well-established names among the finalists and felt it was so important to give all the nominations the attention they deserved” shared Lucy.

“We were impressed by the submissions and the innovative and sustainable way the finalists demonstrated how farming, food and tourism can work together to elevate Lincolnshire as a destination,” added Sarah.

From the Engine Shed to the Lincolnshire Food & Gift Fair

When it came to presenting, Lucy was joined by Lauren Turner, our planning and development consultant at the Awards evening at The Engine Shed. The Future of Farming Award (Young Farming) was won by Riley Taylor of R G Taylor & Sons for his diversification business producing cold pressed rapeseed cooking oil from the oilseed rape crop grown on the family farm at Hogsthorpe near Skegness.

Unfortunately, Riley couldn’t be there, so Lauren and Abigail Denby, also from the Masons Rural team, caught up with him at this year’s Lincolnshire Food and Drink Fair where he very kindly donated some of his award-winning rapeseed oil to our Annual Fatstock Show & Sale raffle.

R G Taylor & Sons Farm Diversification

We wanted to know more about his business, so we asked Riley to share how the family’s multi-generation mixed arable and livestock farm came to produce cold pressed rapeseed oil neatly marketed as “Sunshine in a Bottle with a taste of Lincolnshire in every drop”.


After school, Riley went to Riseholme Agricultural College in Lincoln where he studied agriculture for two years at the same time working on the family farm and other local farms to gain experience.

“I considered a university degree or travelling aboard but my family farm needed an extra employee, so it made sense for it to be me and join my father and grandfather where we all support each other” explains Riley.

The Taylors are 4th generation farmers with a long history of livestock and arable farming.

“Since college, I’ve taken on board the importance of diversification as farming is such a high-risk industry, reliant on the weather. I was looking for a way to progress the farm and wanted to do other things. I think I was literally googling diversification and came across cooking oil as an alternative to simply selling our rapeseed oil seed off on lorries”.

Like any entrepreneur Riley had to pitch his concept to his investors, i.e. his family, developing a business plan, working out costs and potential risks and rewards and as he'd done his homework they were keen to support him.

Riley’s 86-year-old grandfather comes to the farm every day taking care of odd jobs which gives Riley, and his brother who has recently joined the farm, valuable time to put more resources into their new venture.

From the outsourced production to branding and packaging, every single aspect was taken care of by Riley, working with an old school friend at a printing company on the overall design.

“I knew I wanted a bottle to show off the colour of our cold pressed oil. The way it’s filtered makes it glow which is where the “sunshine in a bottle” idea came from. Having such a strong product made me super proud and excited to approach local farm shops, delis, and butchers. I’ve had a brilliant response and I’m now stocked in 15 local shops all listed online plus I also sell direct.”

Award Winning Young Farmers’ Future

“We attended the Food & Drink Fair at the Lincolnshire Showground this year and had such a great response, so we’re hoping to add more farmers markets and pop-up events in 2024 as well as reach out to more farm shops. People are beginning to understand the versatility of cold rapeseed oil and its health benefits with half the saturated fat of olive oil as well as being high in omegas 3, 6 and 9.”

Having achieved a Great Taste award in 2023 for his original oil, Riley is currently working on new recipes with oil-based infusions of dried herbs and spice to create flavoured oils that will expand the range for cooking and gifting products.

Diversification is hard work. Riley and his family already work 7 days a week on the farm, but this agricultural entrepreneur insists there’s nothing like the feeling of producing something.

He is looking forward to evolving and producing even better cold pressed rapeseed cooking oil from fully traceable oilseed rape which they grow on their farm. We can’t think of a worthier winner and would like to congratulate Riley on his award and look forward to supporting his bright future.

If you’re a young farmer looking for advice then we can support you with your farm business diversification idea, whether that’s business planning, funding or planning permission, please get in touch with Masons Rural team on 01507 350500 Option 3. We’re always happy to help.