Ear to the Ground Podcast
The ‘Ear to the Ground’ podcast, the first of its kind to be available in both Welsh and English, shares technical information, advice, support and inspiration to the farming community in Wales.
Episodes are just 20/30 minutes long and will include interviews with farmers and industry experts on a range of topical themes. A new episode will be published every fortnight.
Episode 85 - Embracing Change: Claire Jones discusses Dairy Diversification at Pant Farm, Llanddewi Brefi
It’s a pleasure to welcome Claire Jones to the podcast, this episode is recorded at this years Innovation and Diversification event at Builth Wells. If you’re active on social media many would have come across Claire as ‘_farmers_wife_’ on instagram, she does an excellent job of promoting and informing her audience of the busy farming life at Pant Farm Llanddewi which we will delve deeper into during this podcast. Many business are here to establish what Innovation or diversification opportunities they can introduce to their business and we’ll hear within this episode how Claire alongside her husband, Stephen and the family, decided a couple of years ago to diversify from beef and sheep farming to producing milk.
Episode 76: Why agriculture was the career of choice for our new entrants panel
The average age of a Welsh farmer is 60, and only 3% of farmers are under 35 - what more can be done to encourage new entrants into agriculture? In our two part series we've asked our first four new entrants to the industry to come together to discuss why they're in the industry, what they love about it and what the challenges are? This episode is also available to watch on our YouTube channel, click on this link and be sure to like the video, subscribe to the channel and hit the bell to be notified of any new content.
Panel: Matt Swarbrick, Peredur Owen, Ernie Richards and Bryn Perry
Episode 77: Get on the Farming Ladder
The second episode within our new entrant to agriculture series brings together four young farmers which were all raised on family farms in North Wales but have decided to forge their own career in Agriculture through various joint venture agreements and farm management. This episode will hear of the good, the bad and potentially ugly of setting up a joint venture agreement from four panellists that have previously attended the Farming Connect Business Bootcamp and drawn upon the Venture programme to successfully implement a path way into share farming. This episode is also available to watch on our YouTube channel by clicking here.
Panel: Gwydion Owen, Farming Connects Venture Officer is joined by Emyr Owen, newly appointed as Farm Manager at The Rhug Estate in Corwen. Brothers Dafydd and Ifan Owen have also decided to forge their own path in agriculture, Dafydd manages 3000 ewes at Coed Coch, near Colwyn Bay whilst Ifan has entered a partnership on 600 acres of land at Ty Newydd, Nebo, Llanrwst. Ynyr Pugh has been fortunate to secure a joint venture agreement just 10 minutes from his home in Dinas Mawddwy, Machynlleth.
Episode 78: Should every farm business have a risk assessment plan in place?
In this episode Alison Harvey, Agri Supply Chain Advisor at Rural Advisor talks to Nerys Llewelyn Jones, Agri Advisor's founder director. Most farmers subconsciously who'd have a operational risk assessment plan, but should all businesses have a solid one in place to deal with the unexpected events? Nerys and Alison break down all the elements that should be considered.
Episode 79: Encouraging developments for the British wool industry
This episode focuses on the encouraging outlook for sheep farmers in Wales looking for answers to address the disappointing returns for their wool recently. Although the picture again this season looks like a challenging one, there's plenty of activity happening behind the scene's to realise the potential of wool as a natural, sustainable and versatile material. Alison Harvey meets up with three guests that can provide more substance on this important aspect. Gareth Jones, producer marketing manager at British Wool, Sara Jenkins, farmers wife and Farming Connect, Agisgôp leader and Elen Parry from the 'Made with Wool' project which aims to improve people's understanding of this great fibre.
Episode 80: Jim Elizondo Real Wealth Ranching- 'Can we maximise farm profit whilst also enhancing the environment?'
Jim Elizondo is a cattle rancher from Texas who has 30 years’ experience of managing livestock in ranging climatic condition across America and beyond. His passion is helping farmers regenerate their land whilst reaching maximum profitability. He delivers ‘Real Wealth Ranching’ training to clients from across the world and has helped numerous farm businesses reach maximum productivity whilst regenerating their land.
Jim recently presented at Farming Connect events, this episode presented by Cennydd Jones is another opportunity to hear Jim's background and farming philosophy.
Episode 81 - Dairy's ethical future
Angharad Menna, another new presenter on this podcast interviews her first guest, Anna Bowen a Nuffield Scholar (sponsored by Elizabeth Creake Charitable Trust) which has travelled the World to study the future of ethical dairy farming. Within this hour long episode we'll hear in detail of hear experiences in areas such as the feasibility of cow calf contact dairy, the best use of sexed semen along with breeding and rearing dairy beef calves and finding a market for them. Could the dairy industry also learn from horse racing and Its social licence?
If this episode incentivises you to broaden your horizons the applications for the 2024 Nuffield Farming Scholarships are now OPEN! The deadline is 31st July 2023, visit their website for more details.
Episode 82 - Sheep milking in Wales
Lamb, mutton and wool, those are the products we are familiar with when farming sheep in Wales. Now, we should add sheep's milk to the list, as we see 14 farmers this year milking sheep. Two of these innovative individuals join Geraint Hughes for a conversation. Alan Jones from Chwilog, near Pwllheli and Huw Jones from Llanerchymedd, Anglesey. This edition was recorded from a new processing site, Llaethdy Gwyn in Bethesda, Dyffryn Ogwen, which has been developed by Carrie Rimes specifically to process sheep's milk.
Episode 83- A conversation with Dr Iwan Owen - Forty years of lecturing grassland management at Aberystwyth University
Cennydd Jones, a lecturer at Aberystwyth University and a part-time farmer will be joined by Dr Iwan Owen. Iwan is a well-known name to many former Aberystwyth University Agriculture students, where he was a grassland management lecturer for forty years before he took a well-deserved retirement in 2021. In this episode we will hear about his journey to become a lecturer at WAC (Welsh Agricultural Collage), why doing a degree or further education is useful in an industry that many consider practical. We will also have the opportunity to hear his impressions about the future of agriculture in Wales.
Episode 84 - Staff Management- Episode 1: How to recruit and retain staff
In the first in a series of episodes focusing on staff management, another new presenter to the podcast Rhian Price is joined by Paul Harris, founder of REAL Success, a people consultancy business. Rhian is an award-winning journalist and agricultural PR specialist, she spent 10 years working at Farmers Weekly – seven of them as Livestock Editor before setting up her own Agricultural PR company 'Rhian Price Media'. She now lives on the Shropshire/ Welsh border with her husband and their family on a 280-cow dairy farm.
This episode in the series will discuss why farmers find staff recruitment and retention so difficult, and how farmers can attract and retain the best personnel. They also consider what you should do to keep staff happy and motivated.