Why Rhys would be an effective mentor
- Rhys farms full time on the family farm with his father where they run a highly productive sheep enterprise. Their main focus is genetics, using high EBV rams & maternal Aberfield rams. They also focus on production costs, animal health and DLWG in lamb growth from birth. Lambs are sold as lambs finished off grass and ewe lambs are sold online at a premium price.
- Rhys introduced EID, which is now used for recording the weight gains & lambing data of all ewes and lambs. This data has been kept for the entire flock for the last five years and is analysed and compared regularly. He says that using EID has changed the way the family farm, with incredible results.
- He is a firm believer in personal and business development and has himself utilised a number of Farming Connect services in support of this. Rhys also diversified into renewable energy, installing a hydro generator and ground source heat pump which supplies all the energy for the farm and farmhouse.
- With a keen interest in introducing innovation to the business, he is able to cite many examples of how introducing innovative, more efficient ways of working has helped make the business more efficient. Rhys is also a keen advocate of benchmarking, aiming for farm performance to be within the top third of the top performing farms in Wales
- He has also initiated a number of on-farm trials, such as using bolus, which has enabled him to spend money wisely and reduce costs.
Current farm business
- 250 acre hill farm which ranges from 650 – 1,350ft above sea level
- 550 ewes and 150 ewe lambs
- Sheep are housed pre-lambing and fed TMR
- Performance recording the flock using EID
- Renewables including a hydro generator and ground source heat pump
- The farm business also diversified into an extensive tourism venture including a 60 pitch touring caravan site, fishing lakes and wedding venue
- Recently set up a rotation grazing system
- After finishing his education, Rhys qualified as an electrician. His skills and experience enable him to advise and calculate potential energy savings on low voltage and LED systems. He installed renewable energy systems on the farm which proved hugely successful, producing massive savings within his family business
- Rhys makes full use of Farming Connect knowledge transfer services available. He is a member of a sheep discussion group and is a former Agrisgôp member. He has also utilised the soil sampling service and carried out a fluke/worm trial.
TOP TIPS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS
“Monitor weight gains from as early as possible, the first 12weeks of lamb growth is most important.”
“It’s easier to save a pound than to earn a pound. Control what you can and markets will take care of themselves.”
“Diversify into something that suits you and your skills.”