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My Blog : Farmers Guardian

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.

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Charles Bruce farms near Banff, Aberdeenshire, and has 98 hectares (242 acres) of owned land, 76ha (188 acres) of malting barley which is contract farmed, and rented seasonal grazings extending to 40ha (99 acres). Running an 80-cow fold of pedigree Highland cattle, these are used to supply an on-farm butchery business and his Bogside Farm Shop. There is a commercial ewe flock of about 230-head and a trout fishery is also run as part of the business.

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In a spectacular own-goal, Theresa May’s Conservatives have been forced into a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement with 10 MPs from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) after being humiliated at the polls.

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Trying to judge the mood of the British public can be a dangerous thing, as Theresa May found out to her cost in last week’s General Election.

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Phil farms 385ha (950 acres) in Cheshire, split between the family farm on Lord Cholmondeley’s estate and Organsdale Farm near Tarporley. He milks 300 cows, mainly pedigree Brown Swiss, as well as diversifying into business units and an equestrian facility. He is also a Nuffield Scholar. Twitter: @PhilLatham

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Russell McKenzie: 'UK farming has an important role to play'

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Russell is farm manager for John Sheard Farms and a partner in the family farm of D.J. Tebbit, responsible for a total of 995 hectares (2,457 acres), with land crossing into Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Cropping is split between winter wheat grown for seed, milling and feed, winter barley, winter oilseed rape, spring barley, spring beans and spring oats. Russell is an AHDB monitor farmer and a 2014 Nuffield Scholar.

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By and large the main parties have missed or dismissed ‘rural’ from their manifestos, yet ‘rural’ is fundamentally important.

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By this time next week we should hopefully know which political party will be leading the UK for the next five years, but whether we have a clearer idea of their plans for agriculture will be a different matter.

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Young Farmer Focus: Helen Howells, Lampeter, Ceredigion

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Helen Howells, 32, farms with her husband Peter on an 89 ha (220 acre) family-run beef and sheep unit specialising in breeding pedigree livestock under the Gwenog and Pedr prefi xes. She also runs her own consultancy from the farm, Hwylus, which provides values-based consultancy to the rural sector.

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James farms 180ha (450 acres) of uplands in Llanbadarn Fynydd, Powys. Married to Rachel with three sons, James runs 1,000 ewes, mostly Aberfield crosses, plus a 50-head suckler herd. An HCC scholar in 2014, he is involved with NFU Cymru’s Next Generation initiative and passionate about rural affairs.

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