Fifth-generation farmer Jacob Anthony is a graduate of the Agri Academy Junior Programme 2014. Jacob, who farms on the family farm at Cwm Risca in Tondu, near Bridgend, won the prestigious Farmers Weekly Young Farmer of the Year award in 2018.
In their citation, the award judges said that Jacob was passionate about progress, and had taken every opportunity to improve his knowledge, update his management systems and stabilise his cashflow. Jacob says that his Agri Academy experience was a hugely contributory factor to his personal development and one which he highly recommends to other individuals working in agriculture in Wales.
After completing a three-year agriculture diploma at Hartpury College, Jacob returned home to Cwm Risca where he was given sole responsibility for the sheep enterprise. He now runs 1,000 Lleyn cross Texel breeding ewes and 300 head of cattle, including 110 Welsh Black cross Limousin/Charolais suckler cows, and 10 pedigree Welsh Blacks.
Since returning to the family farm, he has implemented changes to improve efficiency and reduce input costs. A keen member of a Farming Connect sheep discussion group, Jacob recently introduced a new sheep-handling system which has helped make flock management easier.
“I firmly believe that it’s essential to keep on developing your skills and knowledge because that’s the only way you will develop your business and ensure you make the most of every opportunity to improve performance.
“My Agri Academy experience gave me huge confidence, new skills and a new network of like-minded individuals and inspirational mentors.
“I would advise anyone thinking of applying for the Agri Academy to go ahead, it’s been a life-changing experience for many of us, which has had enormous personal benefits and helped us develop our business acumen too.”