Family farms play a significant part of Welsh society and culture and need protection, a new report by Farming Connect has found.
The Language of the Land report revealed 43 per cent of agricultural workers spoke Welsh, compared to 19 per cent of the overall population, highlighting a strong connection between the future of the language and the future of farming.
A series of actions to protect and extend the use of the Welsh language in agricultural circles, both on a Governmental policy level and a community level were also highlighted, which included a benefit payment system supporting industry on family farms, formalisation of the support for Young Farmers Clubs to promote the Welsh language, and strengthened Welsh language provisions on courses linked to agriculture.
Funding a system to publish and translate agricultural education resources for the sector and funding a facilitator role to co-ordinate the partners that are interested in maintaining and growing the Welsh language within agriculture were also suggested.
Eirwen Williams, director of rural services with Menter a Busnes, said: “The true wealth of this report is the individual voices which have combined to create, validate and reinforce the findings and recommendations contained within it.
“This report is not the end of the journey, rather, if we are to help reach the target set of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050, it is a strong start for an even wider discussion within the agricultural industry and its communities.”
It is hoped the report will be considered as part of proposals for the Welsh’s Government’s new Sustainable Farming Scheme, which aims to support long-term resilience of rural Welsh speaking communities by ensuring the land continues to be farmed sustainably in the future.