Why Meirion would be an effective mentor
- Over 40 years, the farm has undergone a significant improvement programme of land drainage and reclamation, fencing and erecting buildings to improve the overall output and reduce input costs
- Meirion has engaged in a number of enterprises including sheep production, dairying, beef rearing and fattening store cattle, renewable energy and woodland management. Having ceased dairying in 2003 to concentrate on early lambing flock. This has been hugely successful, as they now sell almost 1,500 lambs annually between April and end of June
- Meirion’s past experience in agriculture, coupled with a proven track record in business and financial planning, offer the necessary skills to support mentees
- Having amassed considerable practical experience of how share farming can work, which is still a relatively uncommon practise in Wales. Meirion has been through the process, and has seen the problems and identified solutions, making him well placed to advise future parties
- From 2015-2017, Meirion was involved in a successful share farming agreement with an experienced young farmer seeking a new route into farming. His young business partner moved on in 2017 and he is now farming in a new joint venture which was set up in November 2017
- With very good communication skills, Meirion is able to assess individual characteristics and judge various situations
- Meirion has unofficially been a mentor to many other farmers and has found the experience to be very rewarding. His ability to give honest feedback in a safe and confidential manner has made him a respected farmer
Current farm business
- 700 acre hill farm owned in partnership with wife Ann
- Farming in a shared farming agreement since November 2017
- 100 store cattle reared a year. Bought at 10-12 months old, sold at 20 months old
- 1,100 ewes plus 200 replacements
- Contract rearing 50 Friesian heifers
- Solar panels on farm, ongoing wind farm proposal
Qualifications/ achievements/ experience
- National Certificate in Agriculture (Distinction), Gelli Aur, 1976-1977
- Took over management of farm and entered a six year Farm and Horticulture Development Scheme to develop farm
- In 2015 he introduced a share farmer into the business with a view of giving an opportunity to a young farmer as part of our future succession planning. Meirion was eager to make this bold move whilst still relatively young and it has already proved beneficial in bringing youthful energy and ideas without the huge financial burden to the young farmer
- British Farming Awards Farming Partnership of the Year 2016
TOP TIPS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS
"Forward planning is critical so make sure you safeguard the future of a family business through frank and honest discussions with your family about succession planning."
"Focus on areas of the business which are doing well. We decided to focus on what is now a hugely successful early lambing enterprise rather than splitting our time and resources with other elements such as dairying which were not performing to the same level. "
"Invest time in business and financial planning. It’s the only way to ensure you develop and grow your business."
"Be open to new ideas and make sure you tap into any advice or support that’s available to you."
"If your soil isn’t getting all the nutrients it needs you won’t get the best results from your grassland. It pays to look after most valuable resource which is why we have always carried out regular soil sampling checks every five years."
"Always keep up to date with any developments in the industry, read the farming press or visit appropriate websites like Farming Connect."
"There’s always something new to learn."