Why Chris would be an effective mentor
- Chris has been involved in the agricultural industry all his life. Alongside helping out at his family farm, he began working at local pick your own enterprise in 1999 during the summer holidays before being employed full time after graduating in 2008. Since 2012, developed from the role of assistant manager to the farm owner. Chris also spent 4 months working on a dairy farm in New Zealand in 2005, which opened his eyes to different farming practices.
- Chris was involved in the development of building an anaerobic digestor plant at his family farm due to certain issues with the dairy herd such as the smell created from cow manure. In 2010, they decided to go ahead with the project and began researching appropriate systems, which included several visits to Germany and talks with farmers in the USA running similar plants. Chris managed the project including appointing a company to install the biodigester and microwave broadband as well as liaising with planning officers and the environmental agency, now Natural Resources Wales. Seven years on, Chris still manages the site and has represented the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association at Westminster lobbying MP’s to try and get greater understanding of the industry and the complexities of on farm digestion. He also managed the operation of building a 1MW biomass boiler on the farm which is used to dry cow bedding.
- Chris has welcomed over 200 visitors to his farm, from YFC members to government officials, and can provide guidance to farmers wanting further understanding of the AD process and what is has to offer. An excellent communicator, Chris is eager to share his knowledge and experience to support others in the industry.
Current farm business
- Large acreage
- Large dairy herd
- Store lambs fattened annually
- Anaerobic digestion plant
- Biomass boiler
- PV Installations
- 2008: BSc in Chemistry, Reading University
- 2007 to 2019: Chief Steward, RWAS
- 2012: Member of the Agri Academy Rural Leadership Programme, Farming Connect
- 2018: Cows on Tour Coordinator
- 2019-2020: Chair of Future Farmers of Wales
Tips for business success:
1. “Communication with those around you to ensure a level of ownership from all parties.”
2. “Go out and visit as many installions as possible in any project as every will do something differently second time round.”
3. “Learn to reflect on all activities undertaken as this will make the process quicker and more efficient next time.”