Freelance agricultural journalist Meyrick Brown is the Farmers’ Union of Wales Agricultural Journalist of the Year for 2009.

Meyrick, of Rhosgranog House, Llandeloy, Haverfordwest, has a lifetime’s practical experience of dairy, beef and arable farming, drawing on his depth of knowledge to become a highly respected journalist covering a range of topical issues and farming industry developments, as well as highlighting farmer success stories.

He writes regularly for the Western Mail and Carmarthen Journal, provides a weekly column for the Observer series in Pembrokeshire and contributes to the Pembrokeshire Farmer, Pembrokeshire Life and Farmers Guardian. He has also assisted in TV and radio research.

In 2006 his "outstanding contribution to the promotion of agriculture in Pembrokeshire" was formally recognised and last year he received the Pembrokeshire Farmers Club Award "for services to agriculture".

Meyrick is married to Janet and the couple have two children - Helen, who is marketing manager for a company exporting medical products, and Angela, who is a ceramic artist and lecturer.

Announcing the winner, FUW president Gareth Vaughan said Meyrick was a very worthy candidate for the award.

"His aim is, and has always been, to widely promote all that is best in agriculture and to draw public attention to matters causing stress among vulnerable sectors of the industry."

The annual award - a shepherd’s crook - is usually produced by prize-winning Aberystwyth crook maker Hywel Evans but in a departure from tradition Meyrick’s crook was previously owned by S4C’s Cefn Gwlad presenter Dai Jones, Llanilar, who donated it to a recent auction and knocked it down to the highest bidder - a member of the FUW staff.

The auction followed a successful charity golf competition at Aberystwyth Golf Club and helped raise £6,000 towards Ceredigion’s host county appeal fund for next year’s Royal Welsh Show.