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Young Farmer Focus: Marc Williams, Sennybridge, Brecon Beacons

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Marc Williams, 27, works for Natural Resources Wales and helps on the family farm near Sennybridge, in the Brecon Beacons. They keep 70 cattle on 40 hectares (100 acres). He is also chairman of Sennybridge YFC and is currently Brecknock YFC senior member of the year.

 

YFC: Where does the time go? The first Saturday in June saw the Brecknock YFC annual rally held in Builth Wells to end a packed year of competitions and activities. This is my last competing year in YFC but over the years I have gained so many skills, built up confidence and most of all made friends.

 

Rally day was full of varied competitions and I was extremely proud to be the chairman of Sennybridge as the club won the winter competitions cup, rally day and won the whole year; this is all down to the hard work and commitment of members.

 

As my journey comes to an end in YFC my advice to current members is to make the most of your time within this fantastic movement and seize all the opportunities which are offered to you. You never know where it will take you and it puts you in good stead for the future.

 

Next week I will be heading to Colorado on the Wales YFC international programme, where I will experience the youth organisation and farming life out there, which will be an exciting and different way of life to Wales.

 

Work: My brother Craig now runs the family farm, keeping 32 Limousin cross and British Blues cross cows and calves with followers. He also works for a local fencing contractor. The farm could not sustain both of us, so I went to university and now work for Natural Resources Wales regulating hydro schemes and responding to pollution incidents.

 

I often find it is a challenge to keep a balance between my work and farming life at home. My agricultural background is the reason I went into the organisation – to help other farmers and find practical solutions to reduce the risk of pollution. At home, silaging has already started and as the weather improves again we are planning to cut a further 10 hectares (25 acres).

 

Brexit: Politics and Brexit has dominated the news but we are still none the wiser as to what the future holds for the agricultural industry. There is now further uncertainty with a hung Parliament. We must continue to raise our concerns and our needs with Ministers in Government in order for them to secure the right deal with Europe and provide a brighter future for farming and the environment.

 

Last January I met with George Eustice, along with other YFC members, where we put our questions to the Defra Minister. We need to ensure the voices of young farmers are heard. I feel small family farms could be hit hard when we finally leave Europe but we must diversify and seek alternative work in order to survive.

 

On our own small farm, we understand it is vitally important we try to improve the quality of our stock rather than the quantity.

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