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Young Farmer Focus: Cerys Fairclough – ‘Agri-Academy broadened my horizons and widened my mindset within the agricultural industry’

Cerys Fairclough, 16, lives on a family sheep farm near Newbridge on Wye, Wales, where she is successfully developing her own flock of Bluefaced Leicester ewes. She is also one of 12 young people to be selected for Farming Connect Agri-Academy.

Family: I am the fourth generation on the upland family farm situated in Newbridge on Wye, Brecknock in the heart of mid Wales. We are sheep farmers farming at over 1000ft above sea-level, running White Faced Welsh mules and Cheviot ewes.

 

Flock: I also have my own flock of traditional Blue Faced Leicester ewes, where I enjoy developing the bloodline of my flock and traveling to see the best of the breed on display.

 

Academy: In 2019, I was lucky enough to be selected for the Agri Academy Programme across Wales. During my time on the academy we went on 4 study weekends, one of which was overseas to Iceland.

 

Everyone we were introduced to, the mentoring, training and businesses we visited, both in the UK and in Iceland, taught me so much.

 

It broadened my horizons and widened my mindset within the agricultural industry. It was also great to meet like-minded young people who, like myself, have a passion for agriculture.


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Young Farmers Club: Having been an active member since the age of 10, young farmers has always been a massive part of my life. Being a member of YFC has always encouraged me to have a go at anything, often being encouraged to do competitions out of my comfort zone due to being a small club.

 

This year I was lucky enough to be given the title of Radnor Junior Member of the Year. I have represented the Radnor Federation in a range of competitions at both Wales and national Level. Personally, I feel the YFC movement is a crucial part of networking within the rural community.

 

Future: After my time at Reaseheath College, I am looking to go to university to study an agriculture related degree.

 

The long-term goal is to develop a career within the agriculture sector.

 

Farmers are currently facing constant change with growing ethical trends, change in agricultural policy, a change in market requirements and I hate to mention the dreaded Brexit and the uncertainty that brings with it.

 

I want to be part of the journey to ensure a secure industry where farmers get fair prices for what they produce as well as reasonable, workable policy.

 

We, as British farmers, have such a good story to tell. People have never been more interested in where their food comes from, not only that; they are interested in the story behind the produce.

 

Being the next generation, I want to be part of that story. We are producing highly nutritious food the highest food standards in the world and we need to proud of that.

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