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Crowds flock to first day of popular winter fair

Crowds kicked off Christmas by packing into the first day of the Winter Fair at Builth Wells on Monday – enjoying competitions, festivities and shopping.

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One of the finest prime stock shows in Europe got underway at the Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd to a cool but dry start.

Bucket hats, bobble hats and scarfs were the order of the day as visitors browsed around a packed schedule of competitions, exhibitions and displays and took the chance to pick up some unique and original Christmas gifts.

One of the most special guests this year was Santa and some reindeer, and there were spectacular fireworks and late night shopping.

The Food Hall hosted the very best Welsh producers showcasing their produce and tempting visitors to try the wide variety of culinary delights on offer.

Offering a full range of teas was Morgan’s Brew Tea Company from Welshpool, Radnor Hills Mineral Water Company from Knighton, Langford’s Butchers from Welshpool and Penmincae Pedigree Welsh black beef and lamb from Cwmbach near Builth Wells, where former Prime Minister Boris Johnson helped out on his visit in 2019 were also showcasing their products.

Geoff Meredith of Morgan’s Brew Tea Company in Welshpool pouring a sample of cherry and rhubarb mead with tea at the Winter Fair.

The two-day event was officially opened by regenerative farmer and well-known landowner Dafydd Wynne Finch, from North Wales.

He grew up on the family beef and sheep farm which he converted to a dairy farm in 2003.

He and his farm manager Carwyn Rhys Davies now milk Jersey Cross cows, focusing on milk solid products and butterfat for cheesemaking.

Dafydd is also currently in the process of building a cheese production facility on Anglesey.

He said the rural sector is being tasked with doing quite a number of things - he has seen all of these things happening but in isolation.

He said he thinks everyone needs to be more multi-dimensional in everything.

The New Chairman of Council Nicola Davies at the official opening of the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells.

Ernie Richards, a shepherd near Clyro was announced as the winner of the NFU Cymru/NFU Mutual Welsh Livestock Champion of the Year Award 2022.

The competition recognises the key role a good livestock manager can make to a livestock farm and to the wider Welsh livestock industry.

Despite not being from a farming background, Ernie’s passion for the agricultural industry began at a young age where he spent weekends and school holidays at his grandparent’s smallholding in Hereford.

After leaving school, Ernie worked on various mixed farms as well as attending Holme Lacy Agricultural College before undertaking a four-year degree in Agriculture and Animal Science at Aberystwyth University.

He currently works as a shepherd for Stuart Morris and family on their sheep farm near Clyro.

Grace Leslie final year student at Harper Adams University reading a mini guide by the crops challenge at Royal Welsh Winter Fair and talking about degrees at the university near Shropshire.

Ernie was presented a £500 prize, sponsored by NFU Mutual, and a Royal Welsh engraved crystal trophy by Chairman of NFU Cymru’s Livestock Board, Rob Lewis.

Two Powys pupils won prizes in the Farmers’ Union of Wales’ Christmas card design competition.

Children from primary schools across Wales had been invited to submit a farming themed Christmas card design in aid of the DPJ Foundation, the FUW’s current Presidential charity.

The two-day Winter Fair was officially opened by regenerative farmer and well-known landowner Dafydd Wynne Finch, from North Wales.

The English category was won by Layla Williams, 10 years old, from Llanbister Primary School, Llandrindod Wells, while the Welsh category winner was Life Taranenko, nine, from Dôlafon School, Llanwrtyd Wells.

The cards can be purchased either from the FUW’s head office by calling 01970 820820 or from respective FUW county offices.

The Winter Fair will open from 8am on Tuesday, November 29.

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