Why Richard would be an effective mentor

  • Richard has more than 30 years of experience running an agricultural business. During that time he has developed a range of enterprises and exploited a range of diversification options
  • Richard is extremely open to change, demonstrated by trialling what he saw in New Zealand in 2013, examining the ability of plantain versus other grasses to finish lambs from forage
  • As a person Richard is very sociable and easy to talk to. As a mentor for the YESS scheme he was able to positively advise the young people he met. He thoroughly enjoyed this role, meeting some inspirational young farmers and learning from them too. He has stayed in touch with many of the young people and they have felt able to contact him later to ask advice or discuss ideas. A mentoring role would enable him to continue to use the skills he has developed
  • Richard’s business has expanded from 220 acres in 1985 to 650 acres now. His focus with sheep is on genetic improvements and reducing costs through maximising the use of high quality forage. The cattle business is focusing on stabiliser cows to improve maternal performance and to finish beef from forage
  • Alongside these enterprises environmental schemes have been utilised to increase revenue from marginal land and ensuring maximum conservation value

Current farm business

  • 650 acres - 450 owned, 200 rented, within Brecon Beacons National Park
  • 80 acres of woodland and scrub 
  • 1,050 breeding ewes and 260 ewe lambs – a mix of Suffolk cross Mules and Aberfield cross ewes
  • 70 suckler cows, moving towards a stabiliser herd
  • 70 acres of spring grown barley and wheat, 18 acres of roots and kale for out-wintering cows
  • 13 years in Tir Gofal, three in Glastir entry and one year in Glastir advanced
  • Diversification includes a self-catering holiday cottage and long let properties
  • Investment in renewable energy with solar thermal, solar PV and a wood chip boiler


  • OND in Agriculture, Welsh Agricultural College, Aberystwyth 1981 -1984
  • Time spent working in New Zealand and Australia 1987-1988
  • Dalehead Lamb Producer of the Year 2013 
  • Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year 2015
  • Farmer Innovation Fund -  running a project trialling plantain in Wales 2014
  • Waitrose Farming Partnership Awards Innovation Prize 2015
  • Young Entrants Support Scheme mentor for four years


“My top tips for business success are to have a clear long term vision for the next 20 years and to formulate a solid plan to get there, taking advantage of all opportunities to benefit the business along the way.”