Caernarfonshire farmer recognised with FUW-HSBC Outstanding Service to the Welsh Dairy Industry Award
Every year the Farmers’ Union of Wales recognises an individual who has made a great contribution towards the development of the dairy industry and has become an integral part of the dairy industry in Wales.
This year, the Union is proud to honour Aled Jones, a dairy farmer from Hendy, near Caernarfon, and a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society, with its FUW-HSBC Outstanding Service to the Welsh Dairy Industry Award.
Aled is always striving to improve standards of farm management whilst taking his environmental responsibilities extremely seriously.
The business never stands still and in 2018 the family business completed investment in a rotary parlour which has significantly increased the throughput times and efficiency of milking cows. Science and new technologies and innovations have always been of great interest to Aled, he is always prepared to trial new methods in order to change his own business.
Under the Glastir ACRES grant scheme, investment was made in energy saving devices (heat recovery and vacuum on demand pumps) and slurry handling. Savings in nitrogen fertiliser use have been made by better targeted use of slurry.
Strict protocols on disease testing are also implemented on the farm to achieve high health standards.
Aled is continually looking to learn and develop new skills to drive his business forward and regularly attends open days and conferences to learn about new developments. Similarly Aled is always willing to share his experience with others and hosts farm visits as well as attending discussion groups from a wide range of organisations. Hendy has previously been a Farming Connect Demonstration farm.
He has an Agriculture and Farm Management degree from Reading University and as part of his time at Reading gained experience on other farms, including a short time working on a farm in France.
Aled has been a long standing member of the NFU Cymru Milk Board, holding the Chairmanship of this Board from 2012 to 2018, during this time Aled was also a member of the NFU Milk Board.
During his Chairmanship he was a passionate advocate of the Welsh Dairy Industry, travelling the country to meet with and listen to the views of Welsh Dairy farmers and dealt with countless media requests from trade, national and international media covering a wide range of issues and topics.
He has often been asked to defend the industry against some quite vicious attacks by organisations seeking to discredit the value of milk to society. Aled in his calm measured and authoritative way has always given a reasoned, measured and powerful argument highlighting the positive virtues of milk and dairy farming in general.
Shortly after taking over as Chairman of the Milk Board in 2012, he became heavily involved in the SOS Dairy Campaign, an effective and successful joint industry campaign with the aim of delivering a fair milk price for farmers.
The campaign was successful in reversing a number of planned milk price cuts and worked on establishing some key conditions for a sustainable industry going forward.
In addition he was instrumental in the setting up of an Agriscop group in Wales investigating the feasibility of a Dairy producer organisation in Wales. Working with like-minded farmers, NFU Cymru and the FUW the group continue to explore the potential for a DPO.
The group have visited Germany to see how successful DPOs operate, they have published a report and continue to investigate the potential for such an organisation to be established in Wales for the benefit of Welsh milk producers.
Aled was NFU Cymru Mid Gwynedd County Chairman from 2013- 2015, he is a member of NFU Cymru Council and NFU Council and in January 2018 was elected to the position of NFU Cymru Deputy President.
Aled is heavily involved in Pedigree breeding and genetics, he is Chairman of the Cattle Information Services and a board member of Holstein UK. He takes his responsibilities extremely seriously and spends a significant amount of time representing the interests of his breed society and the CIS. Aled’s skills are also widely used as a judge at numerous shows across the country.
He has been a member of the Welsh Government’s Dairy leadership Board since 2015 and is a Mentor under the Welsh Government Young Entrants support scheme.
Presenting the award, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Through this award we recognise those who have made a great contribution towards the development of the dairy industry and those who have become an integral part of the dairy industry in Wales. Aled epitomises what can only be described as a stalwart of this industry and I congratulate him wholeheartedly on his achievements. His dedication and commitment is an inspiration and I wish him all the very best for the future.”
Aled Jones joins the list of past winners, which include former FUW Carmarthenshire County President Ogwyn Evans (in 2008), Carmarthenshire farmer Bryan Thomas – a past member of the Holstein Friesian Society council and founder member of the Welsh Dairy Show (2009) – Flintshire dairy farmer Terrig Morgan – who established a successful discussion group “The Udder Group” in Flintshire for younger milk producers now run by DairyCo (2010) – DairyCo Chairman Tim Bennett (2011), former FUW Milk and Dairy Produce Committee Chairman Eifion Huws from Anglesey (2012), NFU England and Wales Dairy Board Chairman Mansel Raymond, (2013), Gwynedd farmer Rhisiart Tomos Lewis (2014), Daioni Organic owner Laurence Harris (2015), Gareth Roberts of Llaeth y Llan (2016) and former FUW Vice President Brian Walters of Clunmelyn farm (2017).
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