Discovering the secrets of Welsh field names

by Angharad Evans, Welsh Language Communications Officer 

Do you know where Llain Uchaf, Cae Bach, Banc, Cae Pant Bach and Cae Ffynnon are? You probably don't know the answer to that question, because these are the names of some of our fields here on the farm.

They don’t mean anything to anyone else, but to us these names are a natural part of the farm’s daily routine and conversation. Each small parcel of land has a specific name and meaning behind it. For example, cae Ffynnon - the answer is probably simple ... there is of course a water well at the bottom of that field. What about Llain Isaf and Llain Uchaf? The answer here is also simple, isn’t it?! Llain means a strip of land, so these fields are two long, thin strips of land that run parallel with the river running from the mountain down to the sea past the bottom of our farm lane.

A few years ago, I took ten minutes to record the field names on the Single Payment Form. There were two reasons for this. Firstly, it is now easier to tackle the form by seeing specific field names rather than a set of letters and numbers. Secondly, those names are now down on paper, and can be passed on to the next generation, just as the names were passed on to this generation.

A Celebration of Local Produce and Talent

A special evening bringing local produce and talent together was held on Friday, 25th March – with a strong flavour of Ceredigion!

The event was held to mark the success of Alaw James and Megan Williams of Lledrod YFC, who won a culinary competition at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Winter Fair.

The competition was launched as a result of a partnership between Cywain, a Menter a Busnes project that supports the development of Welsh food and drink businesses, and Wales Young Farmers Federation (YFC).

The entrants were tasked with creating a two-course menu inspired by Welsh produce. The dishes comprised a main course and either a starter or a dessert and included ingredients from (at least) two Welsh food and drink producers featured on the Cywain Producers’ Map (

Alaw and Megan’s idea came to fruition at Y Ffarmers, Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn thanks to Caitlin Morse and Lewis Johnston and their team, who served their mouth-watering take on the winning menu.

Special award for Tir Dewi

by Llinos Angharad Owen, Regional Partners and Communication Manager for Tir Dewi (North Wales)

Attending any ceremony is an honour but to receive an invitation to attend an awards ceremony by the High Sheriff of Gwynedd Mr Gwyn Peredur Owen was a tremendous privilege. These Ceremonies are held annually by the High Sheriff as part of the High Sheriff's Annual Tackling Crime Awards. There were three award categories namely the High Sheriff Community Service Awards, the National Tackling Crime Awards and the High Sheriff's Personal Awards.

It was a privilege and an honour to receive the High Sheriff's Community Services award for the work of the Tir Dewi charity. Tir Dewi received the award in recognition of the support given to farmers and the farming community.

The support Tir Dewi offers is free and entirely confidential. The support that is provided can vary from case to case depending on what support you require. You may be feeling lonely and isolated and would like someone to talk to, worried about an upcoming inspection, wanting support with recording animal movement, financial difficulties, suffering following a bereavement or illness, worried about a family member or wanting support with succession planning. Tir Dewi volunteers support farmers who are suffering with multiple problems which have escalated to such a degree that they become overwhelmed, and this support may last for months. In other cases, the farmer may be worried about one issue that can be resolved after one or two phone calls.

Many farmers are too proud to ask for support and feel ashamed and embarrassed and often feel like a failure because things go wrong even though they are not to blame. We all go through periods in our lives when life gets tough and things can easily get out of control. You are not alone!

The joy and sadness of one month

by Angharad Evans, Welsh Language Communications Officer

It would not be possible to write Cornel Clecs this month without mentioning Dai Llanilar. As a child growing up in the 80s, watching Cefn Gwlad on S4C would be the golden half hour every week. We’d make sure supper was done and eaten, and look out if the phone rang during Cefn Gwlad, it would be left to ring!

One of the last times I saw Dai was in a car park in Aberystwyth before the Covid pandemic. He was sitting in the Discovery waiting for Olwen to return from shopping, and although I hadn't seen him for a while beforehand, you would never had known this, as the conversation was as fresh as if we had seen each other the day before.

One of Dai's most cherished qualities was that he would always ask about the family, and for a moment you would forget that you were talking to one of the greatest Welsh broadcasters. Thank you Dai for being everybody’s friend, and for ensuring that farming and the countryside would always be in the limelight, a true champion of the countryside, there will only ever be one Dai Llanilar.

It is interesting to read Elin Jones Ceredigion MS's tribute to Dai on page 4 as she refers to the way in which Dai would argue the farmer's case, especially the younger generation, and Dai took great pride in the achievements of young people.

On the same weekend that Dai passed away, the Cân i Gymru competition was held, and fittingly this year’s winner was a farmer’s son from Montgomeryshire.

The proverb ‘Tapping persistently breaks the stone’ is certainly true for Rhydian Meilir Pughe from Cemaes, having competed and shortlisted for the competition in 2012, 2019 and 2020.  But 2022 was Rhydian's year with his song ‘Mae Yna Le’, which was performed on the night by Ryland Teifi.

The heart of our agricultural communities

by Angharad Evans, Welsh Language Communications Officer

Growing up in the eighties (I won’t go into too much detail, or secrets will be revealed about my age!), there wasn't much talk about going abroad on holidays. The highlight of every holiday for me was going to the local mart, in Aberystwyth or Tregaron. I loved walking up and down every alley admiring the stock, but that of course could take some time, when you’d stop to talk to different people. 

To this day, mart day remains an important day, and after a long wait, the buzz returned to the heart of Carmarthen mart at the beginning of the month. There was a lot of looking forward to seeing the mart reopening as it is the local mart for many of our members in and around Carmarthenshire and offers great and convenient facilities for sellers and buyers.

Carmarthen mart is now run by Nock Deighton Agricultural LLP, but what exactly is the importance of securing a local mart for farmers? Here is Mark Burgoyne of the company to tell us more: “It is not always obvious to the general public what a livestock market is all about, but market closures create a massive vacuum in the agricultural community which cannot be easily filled. It is great news that Carmarthen Mart opened again on 2nd March 2022,” explains Mark.

Introducing Phil Ellis – New Chief Executive of Wales YFC

Previously an operations manager at Aberinnovation, a science park dedicated to agricultural technology, Phil Ellis started in his new role as Chief Executive for the Wales Young Farmer Federation on 22nd November 2021. Since then, he has already been involved in the movement’s main events that kick start the YFC year: the Eisteddfod and Winter Fair. Having been in the role for only a couple of months, Phil now has big plans for the future of the movement, with his main focus being the post-COVID response for local clubs, and the mental health and wellbeing of members.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Living in rural mid Wales, I have always worked with young people in different organisations and those in the Young Farmers have always stood out for their hard work, dedication and passion for their movement. This was one of the reasons I went for this role with Wales YFC. Living in mid wales, I enjoy hill walking, camping and am a big fan of Formula 1 and Rugby.

What made you apply for the role?

My motivation came from seeing the great work that the movement does for young people in rural settings, and as the new Chief Executive I feel i can bring my experience to the table and help build on what is already an impressive and progressive movement.

Tribute to past FUW Area Officer

Mr Lyn Williams, retired FUW Area Officer has passed away. Lyn joined the FUW during 1977 and worked for FUW Insurance for 30 years, retiring during 2007. Lyn’s area was, in effect, the Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire, and the family home in Pontyberem was ideally suited for his work. 

Lyn was fully involved in his local community and he worked as a volunteer at both the National Eisteddfod and the Urdd Eisteddfod for many years. Lyn also had a passion for vintage tractors and his coffin was carried to the service at Caersalem Chapel, Pontyberem by his Massey Ferguson tractor.

Lyn was a highly respected JP for many years and the other great passion in his life were the Scarlets and he rarely missed a home fixture.

FUW Deputy President, Ian Rickman, was present at the funeral to represent the FUW as well as a number of retired staff and members. 

Ian added: “I knew Lyn very well and I am very much aware of the outstanding contribution he made to the FUW over many years. I extend my condolences and the condolences of everyone at the FUW to Lyn’s family at this difficult time.”