Recognising the importance of agriculture to the Welsh language

'The importance of agriculture to the Welsh language must be acknowledged' - this was the message from the Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts on Radio Cymru on 7 October 2020. The Welsh Government's post Brexit plans to support the agricultural industry must recognise “its importance to the future of the Welsh language”.

Mr Roberts said subsidies needed to be targeted towards helping family farms survive. Census figures show that 43% of agricultural workers speak Welsh, compared to 19% of the general population. Mr Roberts was responding to the recommendations of a recent report on how farmers can help the government reach its goal of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales welcomes this message, and these findings reinforce many points in our report "Farming in Wales and the Welsh Language" (available on the Union's website, www.fuw.org.uk).

Here are some of the Welsh Language Commissioner’s findings in response to a Menter a Busnes report "The Language of the Land" which gathered information from shows and events across Wales during 2019.

  • Draw the attention of agricultural policy planners to the undeniable link between the continuity of the language and the survival of our agricultural communities.
  • Ensure that policies and the subsidy system support family farms activities.
  • Ensure that the planning system supports rural enterprises and communities.
  • Work with the post 16 sector to strengthen Welsh language provision on agricultural related courses.
  • Fund a system to publish and translate agricultural education resources for the sector.
  • Fund a facilitator post to co-ordinate partners interested in sustaining and growing the Welsh language in agriculture.

Glyn Roberts, Farmers Union of Wales President, added: “I welcome the Welsh Language Commissioner’s response to the report, and appreciate the contribution of Menter a Busnes and their research to the report. I am also pleased that there is a wider awareness of the importance of the agriculture sector to the Welsh language. This Union believes that the future of the family farm within a sustainable community is an integral part of the continuation of race and language to Welsh culture.

“It is clear to us living in the rural communities of Wales that agriculture has an integral and vital part in the future of the language. The agricultural industry is the backbone of so many rural communities. The future of our communities, and our rural schools on the Welsh language in these areas go hand in hand with the prosperity of the family farm, a future that is becoming increasingly uncertain in light of the political storms of our time. I look forward to working with the Welsh Government and the Welsh Language Commissioner to ensure a successful future for Welsh family farms.”

 

 

Depression and suicide – the leading causes of death in the UK farming communities by Hywel Llyr Jenkins, Member of meddwl.org management team According to 84% of farmers under the age of 40, mental health is the biggest danger facing the industry today.

by Hywel Llyr Jenkins, Member of meddwl.org management team

According to 84% of farmers under the age of 40, mental health is the biggest danger facing the industry today. 85% of young farmers believe that there is a specific link between mental health and the general safety of farmers.

Depression and suicide are the leading causes of death within UK farming communities, according to the Time to Change Wales campaign. Unsurprisingly, there has been an increasing demand recently for rural communities to discuss mental health more openly. The agriculture industry is facing many stressful things, and is placing increasing pressures on workers, such as working long hours, financial pressures, animal diseases, poor crops, isolation and loneliness, as well as political factors such as Brexit and policies that put them at greater risk of experiencing mental health difficulties. Therefore, addressing your mental health is paramount in the industry.

We are pleased to hear that the FUW has set a clear goal of trying to raise awareness of mental health in rural communities. There is a stigma surrounding talking about our mental health, and until we are ready to challenge this stigma, there is a danger that people will not get the help they truly deserve.

Jump at the chance!

by Siôn Ifans, FUW Meirionnydd County Chairman

I'm part of a partnership here at Bryn Uchaf, Llanymawddwy with my wife and parents in law. Bryn Uchaf is a hill farm with a flock of 900 ewes and 15 suckler cows. The flock contains 630 Welsh ewes with 150 of those running with an Aberfield ram and the rest with Welsh rams. We also keep 170 Aberfield crossbred sheep that run with Texel and Suffolk NZ rams.

The suckler herd includes Hereford and Stabiliser cows. A Stabiliser bull was purchased for the first time this year with the intention of keeping female calves to increase the herd slightly without having to buy in.

My relationship with the FUW started back in 2002 when I had the opportunity to start farming by securing a 5 year tenancy. I went to the Union office in Newtown to ask for advice on various things such as sheep quota etc. I received extremely valuable guidance and support from the County Executive Officer at the time, and from that my relationship with the Union has grown.

The cookery inspiration during lockdown

by Angharad Evans, Welsh Editor

The week of March 16-20 was very unusual this year, somewhat eerie, as the whole world plunged into an unprecedented uncertainty.

Panic was widespread as Coronavirus tightened its grip on the world. We didn't think that word would still continue to dominate the conversation today.

But, despite all the sadness and uncertainty of the pandemic, good things have come out of a bad situation. Shortly after the lockdown period began, two members of Merched y Wawr, Angharad Fflur and Gwerfyl Eidda, set up the Curo’r Corona’n Coginio Facebook page to encourage people to share their recipes and tips. Within a few weeks, 15,000 members had joined the group, creating a friendly community that extends right across the world.

Mam-gu’s Chicken and Ham Pie

October Recipe

by Meinir Edwards, from the cookery book, Curo'r Coginio'n Coginio

 

Pastry ingredients

450g / 1lb plain flour

200g / 8oz butter

2 beaten eggs

Half teaspoon salt

Pastry method

1) Mix the flour, salt and butter in a bowl to create crumbs

2) Add the eggs and mix to make a pastry

3) Leave the pastry to rest for an hour before rolling

Ingredients for the filling

12oz of diced cooked chicken

12oz diced boiled ham

1 thinly sliced onion

4oz butter

2oz plain flour

1 pint of milk

Quarter pint of cream

2 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

1 beaten egg to brush over the pastry

Filling method

1) Melt the butter in a deep frying pan or pan

2) Fry the onions until soft and add the flour. Cook for a minute before adding the milk gradually to create a white lump free sauce.

3) Add the meat and cream and mix well

4) Add the parsley, pepper and salt

5) Roll half of the pastry to create a 6mm (quarter inch) thick bottom for the pie. Grease a 10-inch pie dish with a little butter before placing the pastry on

6) Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and place the filling on top. Roll out the remaining pastry and cover the pie

7) Brush more egg on top before cooking at 200 °C / 400 ° F / gas 6 for 30-35 minutes

8) Enjoy!

The greatest honour for the teacher, farmer, and leader from the Senni Valley, Glyn Powell

by Angharad Evans, Welsh Editor

 

It is a privilege and honour to be able to share some good news about one of the stalwarts of the Farmers' Union of Wales. Although the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod has been postponed for a year due to Coronavirus, the National Eisteddfod of Wales Gorsedd of Bards recently announced that they will honour Glyn Powell, Sennybridge, FUW Life Member with the Blue Robe during the Ceredigion 2021 Eisteddfod in Tregaron.

Traditionally, those who have succeeded in the fields of Law, Science, Sports, Journalism, Media, local/national activities become Honorary Druids – Blue robes - for their services to the nation.  Without a shadow of a doubt, Glyn fully deserves this honour.  But how do we go about describing Glyn's lifelong contribution in a few words? Scholar, writer, teacher, farmer, leader and someone who has recorded people and their history - the list is endless, and that of course, without mentioning his invaluable and loyal contribution to the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

Looking back so that we can move forward

Cornel Clecs, by Angharad Evans, Welsh Editor, Y Tir

 

With the new 'normal' quickly becoming part of our everyday life, sometimes we have to take a step back to appreciate the past, in order to move forward. We are in the middle of a very exciting and innovative period in the Union's history as we continue working normally, although in a slightly different way, thanks to the latest cutting edge technology.

COVID-19 - Important Information for our members and customers

 

In view of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve taken the decision to help protect members, customers and colleagues by closing all FUW offices.

All staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, meaning our team will be continuing with exactly the same service but over the phone/email/skype or other means of remote communication instead. 

Members and customers should continue to contact us as they would, as all our team can be contacted via the usual phone numbers. 

We will be making sure that our service levels are maintained. SAF/IACS appointments will carry on as normal but will be conducted over the phone. 

Contact details for your local office can be found here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/en/contact-us 

 

Important links relating to the Coronavirus:


The TB Hub have prepared a list of FAQs regarding how TB procedures will be affected by the virus: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Red Tractor Updated Covid-19 position here: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Livestock Auctioneers Association LAA - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Business Wales (including details of coronavirus support for businesses): https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) available through participating lenders: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) guidance on Coronavirus: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/

National Milk Recording services 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus

Senedd Research Blog: https://seneddresearch.blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-constituency-support/