Carmarthenshire farmer recognised for outstanding service to Welsh dairy industry by FUW

A Carmarthenshire farmer, who launched his industry career on the dairy home farm in Whitland and who has since played an intrinsic role in the development of pedigree and non-pedigree herds, has been recognised for outstanding services to the Welsh Dairy Industry by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

Meurig James FRAgS, of Pengawse Farm, Whitland, started his career in agriculture as a farmer on the family dairy farm at Pengawse Farm, but with a younger brother at home and a limited acreage, he looked for a different career path. 

In 1993 Meurig became breed developer and type classifier for the British Holstein Society and now holds the position of Head of Breed Development for Holstein UK overseeing the classification of 140,000 pedigree and non-pedigree dairy and beef cattle annually. He is also the head of the National Bovine Data Centre.

FUW Glamorgan appoints new chairperson

The Glamorgan branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales has appointed a new chairperson to lead the local team. Taking over from Richard Walker, who served the county as chair for over a decade, is current vice chair Charlotte Llewellyn.

Speaking about her appointment, Charlotte said: “A debt of gratitude goes to our former chair Richard Walker for his dedication and hard work on behalf of the FUW and agriculture and also for the support provided by his wife Rachel.  It’s a privilege to have been elected as Glamorgan county chair. I look forward to working with Union officials,  county staff and members to ensure that we have thriving, sustainable family farms."

She farms 225 acres at Cefn Colstyn Farm, Pentyrch, on the outskirts of Cardiff.

Emergency cuts to rural affairs budget risks environmental targets, says FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has expressed major concern following an announcement made by Wales Finance Minister Rebecca Evans, on Tuesday 17 October 2023, which will see significant cuts to rural affairs spending in Wales.

The recently announced package of financial measures, which protect and increase both health and transport spending, see a total Welsh Government budgetary reduction of around £600 million; with around £220 million coming from cuts to spending.

FUW President Ian Rickman said: 

“The fact that the budget allocation for rural affairs could be potentially reduced by over £37 million represents a significant blow to the industry. This is extremely concerning given the important work being undertaken by the Welsh Government’s rural affairs department at a time of major transition and pressures for farmers and the rural communities they support.

Include changed livestock worrying legislation in King’s speech - FUW urges

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has written to Minister of State (Minister for Biosecurity, Marine and Rural Affairs) the RtHon Lord Benyon, requesting changes in the legislation surrounding livestock attacks to be cemented in the King’s speech in November, following the U-turn on the Kept Animal Bill in the summer.

Writing to Lord Benyon, the FUW highlighted that dog attacks on livestock in Wales and England continue to represent a significant financial, emotional and welfare issue for hard-working farming families.   

Although sparse, where data on livestock attacks has been recorded by rural crime forces, the results demonstrate that this is a highly important issue which shows no sign of declining.  For example, data published by North Wales Police reported more than 100 attacks in a 12 month period in 2013; with significant injuries and mortality levels reported.  

FUW welcomes Welsh Government commitment to higher nitrogen limit

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has welcomed a third delay to the introduction of a whole farm nitrogen limit and Welsh Government’s commitment to a higher nitrogen limit for next year.

The announcement by the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, confirmed the whole farm nitrogen limit from livestock manure of 170kg per hectare will be delayed until 1 January alongside plans to bring forward amendments to the Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations to implement an Enhanced Nutrient Management Approach from 1 January to 31 December 2024.

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