Two well-known Welsh Black Cattle breeders - both stalwarts of the Farmers’ Union of Wales - were presented with awards during the union’s annual general meeting today in recognition of their lifelong work.
Trefor Jones, founder of the Cwmcae Herd of Welsh Blacks at Llandre, Bow Street, near Aberystwyth, was recently installed as the breed society’s president. He has exported cattle and sheep to Europe and is a mine of information on the problems of exporting cattle because of TB and other restrictions.
He is always willing to assist and promote the FUW and has exhibited his prize bulls at both Stradey Park and the Millennium Stadium to stress the union’s support for Welsh Beef when the Scarlets and Wales played against the All Blacks.
Mr Jones always supports local and national shows and has won numerous prizes including the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s beef champion in 2005.
Known to all as Trefor Cwmcae, he is a past chairman of the FUW’s Ceredigion branch and is currently one of the county’s delegates on the FUW Grand Council and Ceredigion’s representative on the union’s central livestock, wool and marts committee.
FUW president Gareth Vaughan presented him with the award in recognition of the agricultural industry in Wales.
Mr Vaughan also presented Richard ap Simon Jones, of Ysguboriau, Tywyn, with an award in recognition of services to the FUW and the agricultural industry in Wales.
Mr ap Simon Jones has been a leading figure of the FUW since its formation 54 years ago and is now regarded as a father figure of the union. He was national vice president between 1976 and 1980 - a crucial period in the development of the FUW when it was officially recognised by the government.
For almost the whole of his farming life in Ysguboriau, he has maintained unstinting loyalty to the union, regularly attending county and national meetings, and he still attends the county committee in Dolgellau and the FUW Grand Council as a life member.
He has made an outstanding contribution to the FUW and the agricultural industry, and was awarded the MBE for his services in the early 1980s. During the early 1990s, he became an influential chairman of the Gwynedd Flood Defence Committee, a post he held for 11 years.
He has also been a leading member of the Welsh Black Cattle Society - having been a former president and chaired its governing council for 12 years.
He has been a cattle judge at major agricultural shows - the Royal Welsh Show, the Royal Show, and Royal Highland Show - and is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies.
He began farming Ysguboriau in 1952 after marrying Gwenda Jones, whose family had run the farm since the beginning of the last century. Mr R ap Simon Jones has now retired from farming and the land at Ysguboriau, including adjoining farms, is farmed separately by sons William and Simon Jones who are also renowned stockmen.
In 1996, William won the supreme interbreed champion at the Royal Welsh Show with his Welsh Black cow and Simon, whose main interest is the sheep enterprise, was UK Shepherd of the Year in 1981.