Young entrant Ernie Richards is a graduate of Aberystwyth University where he obtained a BSc in Agriculture with Animal Science. A former chair of his local Young Farmers Club (YFC) and actively involved with many other rural organisations, he has never deviated from his plan to develop his agricultural skills and to immerse himself in rural life as a full-time farmer.
Today, he lives with his partner Anna and their young son Harry at Wernoog, a large upland sheep farm near Hay on Wye. Ernie has a rewarding job as a flock manager, a role which for the last five years, has enabled him to develop his skills as a hands-on shepherd, helping his employers develop the performance and productivity of their flock of 1,000 pedigree Lleyn ewes.
Although he enjoys all aspects of farming, his particular interest lies in sheep production and he has involved the business in numerous lamb performance trials, health monitoring schemes and promotional media activities.
Ernie’s ultimate goal is to run his own farming business, which he plans to combine with his role at Wernoog.
“I’m fortunate to have a boss who has confidence in my ability and sees a future role where I can help keep his business sustainable, so that as I develop more managerial skills, he can eventually take a step back.
“I am sure that being part of the Agri Academy’s Business & Innovation Programme will help increase my understanding of business management and financial matters to ensure the business not only remains sustainable, but develops too.”