The Farmers’ Union of Wales has raised close to £40,000 for its charities Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and the Farming Community Network, following two years of successful fundraising.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease or any other type of dementia, research is desperately underfunded and there are not enough researchers and clinicians joining the fight against dementia.
Alzheimer's Society is committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow. This includes £50 million to develop the UK’s first dedicated Dementia Research Institute.
The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times. FCN is a network of over 400 volunteers, with around 40 based in Wales, many of whom are involved in farming, or have close links with agriculture and therefore have a great understanding of the issues farmers and farming families regularly face.
FCN runs a confidential national helpline and e-helpline which is open every day of the year from 7am-11pm. Volunteers provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help, whether the issue is personal or business-related.
Presenting the money to the charities, with Alzheimer's Society Cymru receiving £29,628.31 and the Farming Community Network £9,876.10, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “I am proud to present these two fantastic charities with the funds our members and staff have raised over the last 2 years.
The Farmers’ Union of Wales Gwent team enjoyed a busy, #farmingmatters focused Usk show, on Saturday 14 September.
The event, which has been held on the second Saturday in September since 1844, once again celebrated the very best of Monmouthshire farming and rural life.
Political visitors to the FUW stand included David Davies MP and Nick Ramsay AM, with Brexit and the Welsh Governments “Sustainable Farming and our Land” consultation being the main topics of discussion.
FUW Gwent County Executive Officer Glyn Davies said: “We had a great time at Usk show - it was a time to show the quality of produce, a time to meet and catch up with old friends and a time to demonstrate the value of agriculture to a wider audience.
4th generation North Wales livestock farmer Dafydd Williams, who runs the family farm at Ystumcegid Isaf in partnership with his mother Helen, has raised concerns about the future of the industry with local MP Liz Saville-Roberts.
Farming has been in the family for a long time and he is worried that there won’t be an industry worth entering when his children have grown up.
Dafydd and wife Miriam have two young children, Catrin 11 and 9 year old Robat, who hold the same interest as their father in farming.
The family own over 380 acres and rent a further 60 acres during the summer months, where they keep their beef and sheep stock. They also keep 60 acres of land to produce first cut silage, and cut a second crop depending on available summer forage. All the hay and straw they need is bought in.
The farm is home to over 550 Improved Welsh ewes with half being put to a Texel ram, and the remainder go to an Improved Welsh ram in order to keep 120 ewe lambs as replacements annually.
The remaining lambs are either sold as stores or finished off grass and all lambs are sold before the end of October in order to avoid having to feed over the winter.
Their cattle enterprise includes 45 suckler cows which are put to either a Charolais or Limousin bull, keeping 5 heifers annually for replacements. The remaining offspring are sold in the Spring and Autumn store cattle sales, half at 12 months of age and the remainder at 18 months.
The family have always been keen to support the local livestock market in Bryncir through which they sell all their animals, but are concerned about the future of the industry with Brexit and the chance of a no-deal looming.
Dafydd Williams said: “From a farming perspective, what we need is access to markets, what’s the point in going to Bryncir in a few months time if we haven’t got markets to sell to.
Pembrokeshire farmers are looking forward to baler twine, flat cap, rigger boots and a moustache, as the Welsh Whisperer is coming to Maenclochog for a special charity fundraising concert.
The man who is busy making a name for himself as a performer, radio presenter and popular television personality is teaming up with the Farmers’ Union of Wales Pembrokeshire branch to raise money for two amazing local charities, The DPJ Foundation and Farms For City Children in St David’s.
Those joining the evening, which starts at 7.30pm on Friday 11 October at Maenclochog Community Hall, can look forward to well known belters such as Loris Mansel Davies, Bois y JCB, Bois y Loris, Classifieds y Farmers Guardian and Ni’n Belo Nawr.
FUW Pembrokeshire CEO Rebecca Voyle said: “We are very excited to host this special fundraising event for our local charities. It promises to be a fun evening of music and no doubt a bit of flat out dancing and I hope many of you can join us.”
Tickets are £15 each and include a two course meal, which must be purchased in advance.
A farming family from Anglesey has raised concerns about the beef sector and livestock farming with local MP Albert Owen, highlighting that more needs to be done to protect family farms in these uncertain times.
Ioan Roberts and his wife Helen, who farm at Tryfil Isaf, Llanerchymedd, opened the gates to their 150 acre farm which has been in the family since the 1870s and is home to a 120 head herd of Welsh Black Cattle.
Ioan gave up his job as a Secondary School teacher 14 years ago to concentrate on the farm and discovered that no other breeds coped with the local climate as well the Welsh Black cattle.
And whilst his enthusiasm for the industry knows no bounds, he is worried about the future of not just his own farm business, but the future of the red meat sector.
He said: “We tried other breeds of cattle here on the farm but the Welsh Blacks are what works best for us. They are Wales' only native breed of cattle and provide high quality meat - which I can only describe as the best.
“Sadly the price of beef is not as good as it should be and I feel more needs to be done to promote this wonderful product as a premium product. In my mind it certainly deserves to be up there with PGI Welsh Lamb.
“In these uncertain times, we must do better to promote our great Welsh food to consumers here at home but we also need the UK Government to ensure that we have an export market in just a few weeks time. Otherwise, what’s the point in keeping this going?
“Without being a dooms-day thinker, there are some very real challenges ahead for our sector, and we can’t overcome them all by ourselves. As farmers we are prepared to do all it takes to run our business efficiently, to produce food that is of the highest standard. And if we want to continue seeing native breeds like our Welsh Blacks on the land and enjoy such glorious food - more needs to be done.”
Union officials also used the opportunity to reinforce industry concerns about a no-deal Brexit.
Details of UK Government actions taken in response to the dangers highlighted in the Yellowhammer Report should also be published, the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has said.
‘Operation Yellowhammer - HMG Reasonable Worst Case Planning Assumptions’ was published on September 11 following a vote on Monday (September 9) in the House of Commons. The six-page report summarises the broad range of dangers that would or could accompany a no-deal Brexit, including civil unrest, road blockages, human and veterinary medicine shortages, food shortages and smuggling.