Cennydd Owen Jones, 24, is studying a PhD in investigating environmental reservoirs of bovine TB at Aberystwyth University. He is also Wales YFC senior member of the year.
Family farm: While I am currently full-time at Aberystwyth, I still play an active role on-farm and see my future at Fferm Rhydowen.
We currently milk 70 autumncalving British Friesians and Jerseys, producing milk for mozzarella production at Dairy Partners in Newcastle Emlyn.
In order to increase efficiencies, and to utilise the marginal gains that are expressed in hybrid vigour, we are in the process of moving to a three-way cross that will utilise genetics from the Norwegian Red and Montbeliarde.
Pigs: While dairy farming remains my main passion, I have also developed a strong interest in pigs. It started in 2015 when I was approached by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society to be a ringside announcer on the pig section.
I grasped the opportunity and, several shows later, I am rearing my third crop of weaners.
I really enjoy selling the story of how local and sustainable the end product is with our pork and bacon.
Weaners have been locally-sourced, reared outdoors for most of the year, and a large proportion of their diet is waste cheese from less than 10 miles away. They gain weight in accordance with benchmark figures, ensuring environmental and biological efficiencies.
Small family farms can combine the efficiencies of production that can be seen on larger farms, while still catering for what the consumer wants – local, sustainablyproduced food.
Young Farmers: I have a lot to thank the YFC for and especially the club leaders and officials at Pontsian, Ceredigion and Wales.
Without them, I would not be the person I am today.
I am Pontsian YFC’s chairman and Wales YFC senior member of the year, which came as a massive honour and shock.
Pontsian has been busy, having won the pantomime, and has recently competed at Wales’ Eisteddfod with five items, including the choir.
YFC breathes life and energy into many rural communities, giving a strong voice for our rural youth, and long may it continue.
Bovine TB: Our farm, along with several neighbouring holdings, have all had to deal with, or are currently dealing with, this disease.
When I received the opportunity to study for a PhD in bovine TB at Aberystwyth University, I could not turn it down. I am still at the early stages of the research, but it will undoubtedly be an exciting period for the university, with the new Bovine TB Centre of Excellence being opened later this year.