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Young Farmer Focus: Sian Eleri Davies, Builth Wells, Mid Wales

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Sian Eleri Davies, 19, helps her father with two family holdings including a sheep and beef enterprise, and a 485ha (1,200-acre) sheep and arable farm on the Glanusk Estate. She studies agriculture with business studies at Aberystwyth University and is involved with Edw Valley YFC, where she recently retired as club chairman.

 

Flock: Our sheep flock has a very diverse structure, with hardy Welsh Mountain ewes living on the common bred pure, the older ewes crossed with Bluefaced Leicesters to give us our lowland flock of Welsh Mules for prime fat lamb production, and Texel and Suffolk rams as terminal sires.

 

I was attracted to studying at Aberystwyth University given the world-leading expertise in sheep breeding, the techniques for which we could apply in our flock. Being tenants at Glanusk has provided me with an exciting insight into lowland farming, where we supplement the sheep with the winter forage crops from Glanusk, on which we aim to use minimal concentrates.

 

Education: In July, I will begin my placement year away from Aberystwyth, working part-time at auctioneers and chartered surveyor Morris Marshall and Poole in Welshpool and Newtown. I learned a great deal from my membership of Farming Connect’s Junior Agri Academy Programme in 2014.

 

Within the programme we were given access to inspirational leaders within the industry, as well as the opportunity to travel widely, during the course of which I met Phil Hogan, commissioner for agriculture in Brussels.

 

Promotion: I have featured on a number of shows on the farming magazine programme Ffermio on S4C, where I found suitable sites for filming, preparing, creating and researching content on renewable energy.

 

Brexit: The uncertainty will inevitably make life difficult in the short-term. The long-term impacts, however, remain to be seen. I hope the Government works hard to ensure we get the very best trade deals available, particularly looking towards new and growing, markets.

 

I also hope the public sees the value in responsible land management and is prepared to back us at such a difficult time. From an upland perspective, this will be a very interesting time, where we will probably have to work much more closely alongside other rural stakeholders. Rather than us justifying payments towards agriculture, we have to make the case that the countryside is worthy of investment over other public sector expenditure.

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