Why Arwyn would be an effective mentor

  • Arwyn spent two seasons shearing and working on farms in New Zealand before returning to Wales to farm on his own in November 2000. After buying the farm, Arwyn kept sheep for two years before introducing cattle to the enterprise. In 2009, an opportunity arose to rent a neighbouring farm and double the acreage farmed. Since then Arwyn has steadily built up his stock numbers. Arwyn would be happy to share his experiences of expanding his business and help young farmers who are trying to do the same.
  • Arwyn still works off the farm for up to three days a week, undertaking shearing and fencing contracting work, so tries to keep his system as simple as possible in order to have enough time to fulfil his other commitments.
  • Arwyn also found being a Demonstration Farm a valuable experience and has implemented changes to his business which he believes make a big difference. He now treats his cattle with an iodine bolus and finds that the calves are more lively immediately after birth and he has fewer empty cows.
  • Arwyn also body condition scores the ewes before tupping and treats them accordingly, which has improved his lambing percentage. He is now using Aberdale ewes which he hopes will increase his lambing percentage further.
  • Regular testing has helped improve soil quality, which helps Arwyn cut his fertiliser costs, along with making better use of slurry and using slurry bugs to treat his manure.

Current farm business

  • Upland farm of 390 acres. 170 acres owned, 220 acres rented. At least half the land is moorland on the side of the mountain (heather and gorse)
  • 25 Limousin cross suckler cows. Charolais bull used and calves sold as stores at 18 months old. Cows and calves are bought in as replacements.
  • 425 Tregaron type Welsh breeding ewes. 120 ewe lambs kept each year. All lambs finished off grass.
  • Seasonal shearing and fencing contracting work undertaken on other farms.

Qualifications/ achievements/ experience

  • National Certificate in Agriculture, Glynllifon College 1990-1991
  • Farming Connect Demonstration Farm 2012-2015

Top tips for business success

“Start with the basics and get them right first, don’t over-complicate things.”

“Try to attend events to see what other people are doing. There’s lots of information available and if you pick out just one or two things and take it home, it could make a big difference.”

“The same things don’t work for everyone, but analyse first to see whether something would suit your system.”

“There is always something to learn from other people, no one knows everything.”