Farming Connect initiative helps farms in North East Wales > News

Post : Mon 18 April 2022

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths MS visited two farms in North East Wales to see how they are benefiting from Farming Connect, which includes support for setting up a business to introduce farming to schoolchildren.

As well as meeting newborn lambs, the minister learned how the support is helping farms, in Bangor-on-Dee and Llandegla, improve their businesses and stay competitive.

In Bangor-on-Dee, the minister met biochemist Cheryl Reeves who runs a beef finishing business.

Cheryl recently won the Farming Connect Public Engagement Award and launched a successful educational initiative, ‘Agrication’, which introduces agriculture to schoolchildren.

This involves visiting schools and organizing farm tours, spreading messages about the important role of farmers and food producers through social media.

An automated calf rearing system was also implemented on the farm in June 2019 with the support of Farming Connect. This system has the capacity to raise up to 120 calves in a single batch and has improved cash flow, profitability and reduced manual handling and labor.

Farming Connect has helped Cheryl develop her skills, which has helped her become a mentor to other farmers.

At the Plas yn Iâl farm in Llandegla, farmer Huw Beech explained to the Minister the agri-environmental work underway on the farm to improve overall forest management.

This includes assessing the history and condition of the forest where the majority of the trees were planted during the 1800s and 1900s, but left unmanaged for 65 years.

The project Huw has embarked on aims to integrate income generation while enhancing and enhancing environmental and biodiversity benefits by increasing the capital value of the forest on the farm and providing multiple benefits from profitable way.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “As government we are committed to maintaining and developing a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector in Wales and the work done by Cheryl and Huw is a great example of this. which can be achieved.

“Recently I announced £227 million to support the rural economy of Wales towards a greener and more sustainable future. Farming Connect is a big factor in helping us achieve our goals and I am proud of the achievements of the program, providing valuable training courses to more than 6,000 beneficiaries. It is clear that the support is appreciated by our agricultural sector.

“In light of the ongoing challenges facing the industry, we have confirmed an extension of Farming Connect until March 2023. We are developing proposals for a replacement program to ensure there are no gaps in supply.”

Cheryl Reeves said: “Farming Connect has provided me with crucial support and helped me learn some exciting new skills.

“I’m passionate about future generations understanding food and farming, which is why I started ‘Agriculture’ and it’s fantastic to see young people taking an interest in it.

“I was delighted to be able to discuss this with the Minister and it was great to show her around the farm.

Huw Beech added: “I am incredibly proud of the work we are doing here at Plas yn Iâl Farm, which will benefit the business as well as the environment.

“Farming Connect plays an important role in what we aim to achieve, and I want to thank them for their continued support.

“I was really delighted to welcome Lesley Griffiths to the farm, explain the work in progress and discuss the benefits of being part of the Farming Connect demonstration network, which allowed us to carry out a project focusing on forestry under continuous cover.”

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About Keneth T. Graves

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