Shropshire Star

Delight for winners at BGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition in Welshpool

Dairy farmers Aled and Owain Rees from Eglwysrw in Pembrokeshire were announced as the winners of the BGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition for 2022 at an Awards Dinner in Welshpool.

Tom Goatman, chief executive of the British Grassland Society

Representing Cardigan and District Grassland Society, they run a 300-cow organic dairy herd on 105 hectares that forms part of a larger 385-hectare organic farming system.

Head judge Hugh McClymont from SRUC said that Aled and Owain showed both enthusiasm and passion.

They had full sets of figures for all aspects of grass and milk production and the whole family, including Aled’s wife Hedydd and daughter Mared, were working together and were driven by results.

In what was a very close competition, the runners-up were Claire and John Beckett from Ulster Grassland Society, and Jeremy Way and Kate Lywood from West Sussex Grassland Society.

Claire Beckett, who also works part-time as a nutritionist for Trouw Nutrition, farms in partnership with her parents, John and Karen, at Donacloney near Craigavon, where they run a 150-cow herd of pedigree Holsteins.

Aled and Owain Rees

Hugh McClymont stated that the attention to detail on the farm ensured that the farm was working at the highest level with a clear direction of travel.

Jeremy Way and Kate Lywood run an organic dairy herd of 320 spring calving cows which are a mix of Friesian, Norwegian Red and Jersey genetics.

Kate is a third-generation tenant on Marshalls Farm, with the use of further rented land for replacement stock.

Hugh McClymont praised Jeremy and Kate for great teamwork and for making the best use of what was available to them.

In summarising, Hugh McClymont stated that it was good for the future of the dairy industry to see young farmers involved in decision making and future planning on all three farms.

The competition and the Awards Evening are kindly sponsored by Germinal, Nufarm and Yara.

l Tom Goatman is chief executive of the British Grassland Society

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