Steve has been involved in the sheep industry all his life and was raised on his grandparents mixed farm in Pembrokeshire. After studying Agriculture at university and going on to work as a project manager, Steve secured a council tenancy farm in in 2012, where he farms alongside his wife Kara and their 5 young children.
His sheep enterprise consists of a flock of 250 commercial ewes, which until recently were all sold live at local marts. A small number of performance recorded pedigree Texels provide sires for the flock and any surplus are sold as breeding rams.
Employment throughout the UK has given Steve experience in many sheep farming systems and he has been working with Performance Recording and EBVs for the last 14 years.
Steve also works as a contractor providing pregnancy scanning and freeze branding services, meaning he is accustomed to interacting with farmers and has hands on experience of others’ farming systems
Eager to add value to his lamb, Steve decided to diversify and established an online and delivery-based meat box business, Pembrokeshire Lamb, in 2019 and is now selling boxes of his award winning ‘gate to plate’ lamb, hogget and mutton directly to customers. Steve continually strives to produce artisan, quality-focused sustainable lamb and his efforts proved successful when his produce won a Great Taste Award in September 2020.
Whilst promoting Pembrokeshire Lamb, an opportunity arose to start producing table and cooking sauces and a new brand has been established called The Welsh Saucery.
With extensive knowledge and firsthand experience of the entire ‘gate to plate’ process, Steve can provide guidance to other individuals wanting to improve their businesses and successfully add value to their produce.
Steve is a firm believer in personal development and undertook a number of Farming Connect training courses and services to expand his knowledge before launching his meat boxes enterprise.
Current farm business
100 acre Pembrokeshire County Council tenancy farm
250 commercial Suffolk and Texel cross ewes
Small pedigree Texel flock
2020: 1 star, Great Taste Award - Leg of Pembrokeshire Lamb
2020: 1 star, 3 Great Taste Awards – The Welsh Saucery
2007 - 2012: Sheep Research Projects Manager, Aberystwyth University
2006 - 2007: Shepherd
2000 - 2006: Farming in partnership with brother alongside self-employed relief milking
1996 - 2000: BSc (Hons) Agriculture, Harper Adams University
Tips for business success:
Listen and learn – there is something to learn in every conversation/situation. Listen to everyone and learn the elements of use to you. Go to meetings/farm tours etc and don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s why they are organised.
Be flexible and prepared to adapt – the pace of life has changed, the weather seasons have changed, we need to adapt. A farmer once told me “if you’re farming the same way you were 20 years ago, you were either doing something wrong then or you’re doing something wrong now”.
Be resilient and work hard. Nothing will be handed to you on a plate and there will inevitably be obstacles along the way.