The last twelve months have been pretty intensive for Morley Jones (17) who lives at home on the family’s beef and sheep farm in Sennybridge, but there’s no sign of the pace slowing down any time soon! Not only was Morley selected to join the Agri Academy Junior Programme, he also won one of the highly coveted summer school places at the Royal Veterinary College. He says both these experiences have given him a new depth and breadth of knowledge as well as valuable new networks.
Morley, who has set his sights on being a vet in rural Wales, is currently studying for A levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate at Ysgol Gymraeg in Ystalyfera, but he is also hoping he can combine his future veterinary career and interest in the health of beef cattle with his liking for politics and public speaking. In between academic commitments and helping out at home, Morley is a keen member of Sennybridge YFC.
“Farmers are facing an uncertain future as we head towards leaving the EU, but now is the time for young people to focus their drive and ambition for the good of the industry, and to try and find ways of contributing effectively to our rural economy.”
Morley says that in addition to being inspired by the many mentors and farmers he met through the programme, he is particularly grateful to have been offered work experience within the Welsh Government’s chief veterinary office this spring.
“Proven work experience is one of the most valuable elements on any cv, so I’m very grateful and looking forward to that. Being part of the Junior Academy has helped me appreciate how important it is to widen your network, to listen to new ideas and to have a platform for voicing your own opinions, especially at that critical time when you’re just starting to make plans for the future.
“Our study visit to Ireland was awe-inspiring. It blew my mind to see the scale of what is one of Ireland’s biggest agricultural research stations. So much can be achieved when the Government and industry work together in harmony.”
“I appreciate that throughout the UK, farmers have to compete for government support and resources against many other industries, but in Ireland, agriculture is the priority.
“The Irish farmers and suppliers we met were proof that by working closely with government, the retailers wanted to sell quality Irish produce and their customers wanted to buy it.
“With that attitude, and by educating everyone in the supply chain as well as the public, we can all develop our businesses and prioritise on being the most modern, most profitable quality food producers in the western world.”