Nearly 1000 viewers tune in to strength of mind event

Nearly 1000 viewers tuned in to a chat between two world-class extreme sports personalities at a special virtual event organised recently by volunteer led healthy minds organisation in rural Wales.

The World's Best Machine Shearer, Richard Jones of Glyndyfrdwy and extreme endurance runner and TV presenter, Lowri Morgan shared their experiences with a virtual audience at the hands of experienced broadcaster and host, Nic Parry at the Rhug Estate, recently.

Nerth Dy Ben*, a volunteer-run organisation that aims to give individuals a platform to share positive experiences, in Welsh, organised the event to share the endurance, perseverance and mental strength individuals need to meet extreme physical challenges.

Shearer Richard Jones said: "If you enjoy what you do, nothing can beat that. I would never change my job. I have no interest whatsoever in machinery, but I do love working with animals.

“Some days, things go wrong. But it's important to forget about those things and move on to a new day. Working with animals, be rain or shine, you just have to keep going.”

Uncertain crossroad for agriculture in the uplands


by Osian Gwyn Jones, a hill farm’s son from Arenig, Y Bala, Gwynedd

Agriculture has always been a passion of mine, and I loved helping my father on the farm when I was younger. I grew up in Rhyd-y-Fen, Arenig, an upland farm that extends from 340m up to 700m where we keep Welsh Mountain sheep as well as Welsh Black cattle.

I received my primary school education at Ysgol Bro Tryweryn, Frongoch, before going on to secondary school at Ysgol y Berwyn, Bala. In the 6th form, I had the opportunity to do my A levels, as well as completing a BTEC in agriculture. Following Ysgol y Berwyn re-introducing an agricultural qualification, I was part of the second year to study it.

I am delighted to have taken this opportunity, as it laid the foundation of my agricultural education and we were able to visit the SIMA and SIA shows in Paris during the first year, and the McHale factory in County Mayo during the second year.

Following this, I decided that I wanted to study an agriculture course at Aberystwyth University. At university, I enjoyed all the work associated with agri-environment as it was very relevant to our type of farming at home and very current due to the increased public interest in the environmental footprint of their food. 

Two from Ceredigion start up a Community for Wales’ Communicators

by Angharad Evans, Welsh Language Communications Officer

Aren't we lucky where we live? And more than that the ability to communicate with each other in Welsh?

Two women from Ceredigion have launched a new society for Welsh speakers working in the field of Communication, and both have close links with the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

Gwenan Davies is the daughter of Cwmcoedog, Mydroilyn, and the family have been members of the Union for many years. Cwmcoedog has now developed to offer state of the art cottages and glamping facilities.

Manon Wyn James lives in Tregaron and is the wife of Gwion James, Senior Insurance Executive at the Union’s office in Lampeter.

They both set up SYLW to create a community for communication experts to share ideas, make connections and develop careers in a completely Welsh environment.  The pandemic has enabled virtual communication conferences and attract members via a digital system.

Osian Gwyn Jones receives the RWAS/IBERS Student Award for 2021

Candidates for the RWAS Award for the Best Student of Agriculture at the Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University must have studied Agriculture or a programme with a significant component of Agriculture to Degree, Diploma or Certificate level and should have been born and bred in Wales.

This year’s Award for Student of the Year goes to Osian Gwyn Jones of Rhyd-Y-Fen, Arenig, Y Bala, Gwynedd.

Osian was brought up at Rhyd-y-Fen, Arenig, Y Bala, Gwynedd, a hill farm running between 340m a 689m and carrying 500 Welsh Mountain ewes and 18 Welsh Black cows. Osian will be the 4th generation of his family to farm there and the family have farmed in the area for several centuries.

Osian attended Ysgol Gynradd Bro Tryweryn and Ysgol Uwchradd y Berwyn before being accepted to study for a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture at Aberystwyth University in 2018. He graduated with a Class I degree this year, attaining outstandingly high marks throughout his studies.

Elis’s passion for shearing


by Angharad Evans, Welsh Language Communications Officer

For many farms across the country, the shearing season has arrived, and we are no different, and have done the thankless but essential task quite swiftly during one beautiful summer weekend.

From bringing the sheep in from all over the farm to packing the wool sacks, the task is laborious. But whilst the work is hard, it is very encouraging to see that young people are taking as much interest as ever and are eager to learn the craft.

This is true of Elis Ifan Jones, one of our members from Llanddeiniolen, Caernarfon. 17-year-old farmer’s son, Elis has been announced as the winner of the new British Wool Training and Development Programme. The programme was launched earlier this year which offers one winner from each UK nation the opportunity of winning 12 months of training as well as a Lister Shearing prize package worth £500.

Elis has a keen interest in keeping sheep with his family farming 2,000 sheep - with that in mind, Elis’s favourite time of year is always the shearing season. Cornel Clecs had a chance to talk to Elis and ask him what were the requirements of the competition and what his plans are for the future.

“I hope there will be plenty of opportunities for us young farmers”


My name is Elliw Grug Davies and I’m a beef farmer’s daughter from Synod Uchaf, Synod Inn, Ceredigion. My interest in the agricultural industry, by working on the family farm since my childhood, has been a huge part of my life. The Young Farmers’ Club has been an essential part of my life as well. I thoroughly enjoy being a member of Caerwedros YFC. 

I’ve had many experiences with the federation, from public speaking that has developed my personal confidence which has helped me during job interviews, to stock judging by learning different aspects of different breeds. Meeting new friends and people within this federation has been important to me.

A few years ago I was part of the Agriculture Academy which is a Young People’s Programme with Farming Connect, again I had great opportunities meeting other young people who enjoy working in the agricultural industry, including meeting guest speakers within the industry and discussing agricultural businesses. It was an eye-opener when we all went to Ireland for an educational trip.

Since my time at Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron I have studied Agriculture at Aberystwyth University. I concentrated on studying business, livestock systems and making the most of grass when farming livestock. Also, I had the opportunity to go on a study tour to Cambridge, visiting arable farms etc. Going to University has helped me to get a good job within the industry.

“It was a privilege to work with Mel”

by Gwyn Williams, Former Denbighshire Area Officer

It is with great sadness to record the death of Mel Williams of Colwyn Bay after a short illness. Mel served as County Officer in the Denbighshire and Flintshire counties of the Farmers’ Union of Wales for twelve years, between October 1989 and November 2001. Following in Meurig Voyle’s footsteps as County Officer in these counties was a challenge and a great achievement, but Mel did so with very special tenacity.

A farmer’s son from Cynwyd, near Corwen, he spent 30 years as a Police Sergeant, ending his career as an Inspector with North Wales Police. He was a member of the force’s CID, and he used the same talents of thorough, careful and decisive action as an officer of the Farmers' Union of Wales through turbulent times, both for the industry as well as for individual members.

Immediately upon starting with the Union, he became extremely popular with the members. I remember the late Lloyd Williams of Pentre, Rhuddlan saying with a smile that he would have liked to ask Mel one more question during his interview, namely how long it took Mel to become a police officer. The answer, says Lloyd Williams, would give an idea of ​​how much work it would involve to take the policeman out of Mel! But Mel used his skill as a policeman to assist and solve the problems of the agricultural industry, with a special flair.