The daughter of a farmer based near Wadebridge has been named the winner of the Farmer’s Weekly 2023 photography competition.  

Maria Warne-Elston, 22, works full time on her family’s beef, sheep and arable farm alongside her father, and grandfather — who despite being 79, is still not giving in to retirement.  

Farming is something Maria is very passionate about, making this win even more special. 

Speaking to the paper she said: “I am so honoured to work alongside both of them, and to be able to absorb their lifetime of knowledge. 

“Over the past few years, I have been pushing towards a more native cattle breed, that being Herefords. It’s a no brainer for me, they are low input, well covered animals, that carry great market price, and the benefits really are there! 

“Even in these moments of uncertainty I am excited to see what the future will bring for the farm.” 

However, it is one of Maria’s other passions which has been celebrated recently. Her passion for photography shone through as she was crowned the winner of this year’s Farmer’s Weekly photography competition.  

The winning image captures the son of a young farmer taking inspiration from his father.  

Maria explained: “Having just given birth to my beautiful son, Samuel, it has allowed for me to gain clarity of the importance of capturing all these little life stages. Because before you know it, they’re growing away faster than you can imagine. 

“So, when I had the opportunity to photograph a young farmer’s son, I got thinking about how I could make it unique, and this picture was my final idea! 

“Photography has always been something I have had a passion for, and has slowly become my business, I trade as Maria Elston Photography, it works really well for me, I can fit it around the work on the farm and looking after my eight-month-old Samuel. 

“It started with a hand-me-down camera and taking photos around the farm and of my family and friends. I was then asked by a few local Young Farmers’ Clubs to be their dinner and dance photographer, and that’s when I realised I could make a living out of this, and I haven’t looked back since.”  

Maria said hearing she had been awarded first place in this competition made an already special Christmas day even more magical.  

She added: “It still feels very surreal to have been crowned the winner of this year’s photo competition, I opened the email confirming I was the winner on the evening of Christmas Day, which also happens to be my birthday, it was the best way to have ended such a magical day, I couldn’t have dreamed it!”