Why Sam would be an effective mentor

  • Despite coming from a livestock farming background, Sam’s family initially discouraged him from finding his own independent route into the industry. This focused and entrepreneurial agriculture graduate who left home at 16 is now 35 and owner of an established farming business in Conwy. This involves a sharemilking enterprise in Llangernyw, contract dairy farming in Bodelwyddan and direct selling grass-finished beef online. The beef cattle are kept on a farm in Llansannan. 
  • Sam was brought up on a small hill farm in Snowdonia. After graduating from Aberystwyth University and determined to gain more experience in agriculture, he then spent seven years progressing through a series of salaried roles in England and Wales. Each role saw him take on more responsibility until he was faced with three business opportunities, all within Wales, at the same time. He took up the offer from North Wales, moving there in 2016 with his wife and young family, to take on his first sharemilking agreement at a recent conversion. 
  • Sam and his wife Angharad were involved in duplicating the system to a new dairy conversion near Bodelwyddan in 2019 along with the same farming partners. The couple now own a 50% stake in the contract farming agreement (CFA) which operates a 500 cow grass-based dairy herd on a parkland/estate farm. 
  • In 2017 the couple set up a separate grass finished beef enterprise with a 40 acre techno-grazing finishing system in Llansannan. This business is supplied with weaned calves by a 30 cow hill suckler herd from Sam’s brother’s farm in Snowdonia. 
  • Sam has considerable experience of progressing up each stage of the farming career ladder then running a multi-faceted business, employing staff and leading teams on multiple sites. He will encourage you to prioritise your time effectively, discuss how to assess a business opportunity objectively and work towards realistic farming goals while managing expectations.

Current farm business

  • 2016 – First sharemilking joint venture 450 cows 
  • 2017 – 40 acre tenancy, installed techno-grazing system purchased first stock, 60 beef cattle 
  • 2018 – Purchased 180 bulling heifers for new dairy Joint Venture (JV) equity partnership
  • 2019 – Conversion for 500 cow CFA, 50pt rotary install, milked 470 heifers
  • 2019 – Purchased a shell chip shop and flat, renovated and reopened as a takeaway shop.
  • 2020 – Started 50% share of CFA after a character building set up year in 2019.
  • 2022 – consolidation across the businesses, closed the takeaway shop business after evaluation and rented out the property. 
  • 2023 – Travelled across South America for 4 weeks January/February visiting farms and other interesting rural businesses. 

Qualifications/achievements/ experience 

  • Coleg Glynllifon – National diploma in agriculture
  • Aberystwyth University – BSc (Hons) in Agriculture & Countryside Management.  Sam’s degree dissertation study was published as part of a paper in the Animal Science Journal in 2012. 

Previous roles

  • 2009 – 2013 Dairy manager, Longden Manor Farms, Pontesbury
  • 2013 – 2016 Dairy manager, Drysgolgoch Dairy Shorthorns, Llanfyrnach 

Top tips for business success

"The sooner you upgrade or improve something in your business or in life, the longer you get to enjoy it."