Winner of the 2016 NFU Cymru/NFU Mutual Welsh Dairy Stockperson of the Year Award is 31-year-old Iwan Francis who keeps 200 milkers at Talog, in Carmarthenshire.
The competition, now in its fifth year, recognises the important contribution a good dairy stockperson can make to a dairy enterprise, as well as the wider Welsh dairy industry.
Iwan studied at the Gelli Aur Agricultural College and later at Aberystwyth University, where he gained a degree in Agriculture and Business and was awarded the Royal Welsh Agricultural Student of the Year title.
He went on to spend a year in New Zealand, working at a 1,300-cow unit at Invercargill on the South Island and a 550-cow unit at Hamilton on the North Island.
Now he has his own herd of 200 dairy cows, a mixture of both New Zealand Friesians and Jersey crosses on a rented farm and received the award from Welsh Government Rural Affairs Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, at the Welsh Dairy Show.
“The standard of this year’s entries was very high, but Iwan’s dedication, experience and expertise really impressed us,” said NFU Cymru milk board chairman, Aled Jones.
According to Dai Davies, chairman of NFU Mutual’s advisory board in Wales, Iwan’s application “ticked every box we were looking for.”