Discussing the future of our rural communities

by Alun Edwards, Meirionnydd Representative on the FUW Education and Training and Hill Farming and Marginal Land Committee

There has never been a more important time for the agricultural sector to strategically ally, by standing up to their critics and get their point accross. So I was very happy to receive an invitation from Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg to join a discussion panel on the future of our rural communities at the Llanrwst  National Eisteddfod.

Joining me on the panel were FUW President Glyn Roberts and Non Gwenllian Williams, who is studying agricultural policy for a Ph.D. at Bangor University, and who is a very prominent member of Anglesey YFC. The debate was chaired by a former State veterinarian, and leading anti-nuclear activist, Robat Idris, as vice chairman of the Gymdeithas's rural community group.

Introducing Heusor o Gwm Eidda

Glyn Roberts. Glyn Dylasau. Glyn FUW President. And now Heusor o Gwm Eidda. This year's Conwy County National Eisteddfod was one to remember for our President as he was honoured with the blue robe by the Gorsedd of Bards. This is an honour for those who have given outstanding service to their local community or nation. After an extremely busy week at the Eisteddfod, Cornel Clecs caught up with Glyn to ask him about his experience with the Gorsedd:

What is your bardic name?

My first reaction was to keep it simple and use Glyn Dylasau, but as I felt this was one of the greatest honours for a Welsh person to receive, I had to think more imaginatively. You have to appreciate when you work with people that they influence you, and what went through my mind was what Nick always says, which is that everything has to be proportional. At one point I thought of using my full name in Welsh, William Glyn Roberts and adopting Gwilym Glyn ap Sion.   I inhereted the William after my grandfather and today one of my grandchildren is Gwilym and Gwilym Glyn ap Sion would have included four generations, but I was looking for a name that conveyed the importance of keeping the country pure rather than a more personal one, and after much thought, a name was finally found after being asked twice by the Eisteddfod authorities!

My Bardic name is 'Heusor o Gwm Eidda' - it means the keeper of animals such as sheep, cattle, pigs, not only the husbandry side but the watching, guarding, protecting and leadership element.

Welcoming Siriol

by Siriol Parry, FUW Administrative Assistant

I’m originally from Edern, Lleyn Peninsula where my family run a civil engineering company, G T Williams Ltd. I have an agricultural background with several generations of my family FUW members, my great grandfather, Ceiri Hughes-Parry of Penllwyn, Pwllheli was County Chairman of Caernarfon FUW County Branch during 1964.

After studying my A levels at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Pwllheli, I studied for three years at Cardiff Metropolitan University and received a first class degree in Business and Management with Finance in Summer 2019.

I have just moved to the Tregaron area with my partner who has started a 'share farming' business on a farm with over 250 dairy cows.

As I am interested in agriculture and have the experience of working in administration, I am looking forward to starting my career as an Administrative Assistant at Head Office and working with the team here at the FUW.

Proud to be part of the 100th Royal Welsh Show

by Glyn Roberts, FUW President

The 100th Royal Welsh Show week has been and gone. It was busy, warm and we were proud to be a part of the biggest agricultural show in Europe, which showcases our industry so well and brings ‘Farming Matters’ to everyone's attention - in fact the FUW has had an official presence at the show for more than sixty years! 

For us at the FUW it is always good to catch up with members in the pavilion and we enjoyed the wide and varied #FarmingMatters chats over a cup of tea. But it wasn’t just about drinking tea - we have also been busy in our many meetings highlighting why our industry is so important and why funding for agriculture needs to be sorted out as a matter of urgency.

A bit of thinking to do now…!

Right, a little quiz for you this month… a bit of fun and a history lesson in the process!

Who knows what these signs are?

In his column last month, our managing director, Alan Davies referred to the office reshuffle at Aberystwyth, and when searching for a new home for the Cornel Clecs desk, we found the above, and no-one was sure what their purpose were! But thankfully FUWIS Joint Managing Director, Roger Van Praet has been able to give us some information about them.

The Queen of Routine

By Caryl Roberts, Membership and Operations Manager

sn't it easy to get into a rut? Getting up, shower, working, sleeping. Routine is comfortable and easy, which usually means that you carry out tasks as efficiently as possible within your ability. But, the disadvantage of this ideal little world is no development, no vision and no learning about new new things. We learn from birth right through to the day we die and an opportunity to learn through mistakes, talking, debating, and talking to new people.

So over the last few months I have ventured out into the big wide world to learn and hear more from membership businesses and organisations, to learn more about our current systems and how they could work better for us as a union.

My destination after long train journey from Machynlleth to London was a Zoho conference which is our CRM company (Customer Relationship Management). This is the system that keeps all our members and prospective members details. The system allows us to keep an electronic file of all calls, casework and forms completed for members. This has been a big step forward for us in reducing our use of paper and wasteful printing.

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/