*Ruscombe doesn't have capacity to accept mentoring applications currently. Please contact Awel Jones on 07961 958 807 / awel.jones2@menterabusnes.co.uk to discuss your other options.*


Why Ruscombe would be an effective mentor

  • Ruscombe’s passion is breeding, training and selling border collie sheep dogs. It’s an interest he’s had for the past 40 years, successfully combining it with his former role as a farm manager for Caerphilly Council, where until his recent retirement, he had worked for the last 33 years.  
  • Responsible for customer relations at the council farm, Ruscombe has good managerial and supervisory skills. His role was to promote the council’s farm to all visitors, including schools, groups with special needs, and in particular young people, demonstrating his strong communication skills, willingness to support and guide others and ability to work under pressure in all weathers. 
  • Ruscombe is now looking forward to spending a lot more time with sheep dogs and he also hopes to get back to competing at sheepdog trials. He is keen to share his knowledge with fellow farmers looking to improve their dog handling skills, saying that in his younger days, he was lucky to learn from many older, very experienced sheepdog handlers, which is why he’s now keen to ‘put something back’ by becoming a mentor.
  • Self-motivated and experienced at motivating others, you’ll find Ruscombe has plenty of patience with both farmers and dogs – he says both respond to kindness, patience and a consistent approach – and he looks forward to helping you get the most out of your working dogs. 

Current farm business

  • Smallholding plus rented ground
  • Flock of 50 Welsh ewes lambed outdoors in March to North Country Cheviot rams with lambs finished and sold at Monmouthshire Livestock Market or kept for breeding stock. 

Qualifications/achievements/ experience 

  • Caerphilly Council Farm manager – Supervising visitors, handling livestock, shearing, lambing and conservation work such as hedge laying, dry stone walling and tree planting. He also was part of the Caerphilly Rural Development Programme team, which involved running dry stone walling and hedge-laying taster days and courses. 
  • St. Fagans National Museum of History – Agricultural technician responsible for looking after the livestock at the museum and to doing live demonstration sheep shearing, sheepdog handling and hedge-laying.
  • Agricultural contractor, undertaking seasonal jobs including shearing and fencing
  • Usk Agricultural College 1978-79 - National Certificate in Agriculture
  • Agri-related training:  Chainsaw training; tractor driving; ATV training; First Aid; Manual handling.  
  • Mynyddislwyn Sheepdog Trials Society (Member for 25 years and treasurer for 15 years) 
  • Gelligaer Shearing Committee (Member)
  • Bedwellty Show Committee (Member)
  • South Wales Mountain Sheep Breeder Committee (Member)

Top tips for business success 

“Practice make perfect which is why with a young dog, patience, a consistent approach and ten minutes’ practice a day will make a huge difference.” 

“A well-trained sheep dog is a huge asset to a busy farmer, because without one, your sheep will soon have the upper hand!” 

“It’s important for the dog and its handler to develop a bond, and it helps to have an  understanding of sheep behaviour, too.”