25 November 2022
Farming Connect’s role is to inspire and challenge farmers throughout Wales to achieve the best from their farming systems, to run competitive, resilient and sustainable farm and forestry businesses. Since 2015, Farming Connect has helped Welsh farms do exactly this through the demonstration network.
The network has featured 244 farms during this 7-year period and has conducted research and practise in the red meat, dairy, poultry, pigs, arable, forestry and horticulture sectors through implementing and demonstrating innovation and new technology to the wider industry.
Farming Connect will be celebrating the work and achievements of the demonstration network at the 2022 Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Winter Fair with project results and trials being highlighted across the programme's flagship stand, located on the balcony above the cattle ring.
A new booklet which provides a snapshot of the work undertaken by the demonstration network, including trial result from farms over the last three years, will also be available to farmers. Digital copies are also available to view and download on the Farming Connect website.
An informal event to mark the most recent work conducted by the current 18 demonstration site farmers and 38 focus site farmers will also take place on Monday 28 November, bringing the network together in the Lantra Cymru building.
Demonstration network farmers, along with specialists from the agriculture and forestry sector, have been demonstrating research on a range of key topics, including animal health and welfare, technology, soil management, grassland management, woodland management, carbon and the environment.
“Through this work, farmers have learned which systems work well and which do not, by implementing new or different approaches to achieve their goals. They are now in a stronger competitive position, better-placed to deal with market volatility, to thrive and prosper,” said Eirwen Williams, Farming Connect Director, speaking about the demonstration network.
Trialling and implementing more efficient and profitable ways of managing these businesses is the primary aim of all demonstration network projects. Not only does this aim to benefit the demonstration farmers directly, but also other similar businesses.
During the span of the demonstration network, 904 events have been held on sites with 13,255 attendees learning about project results, allowing other farmers the chance to apply results and best practices to their farming systems.
Those attending the Winter Fair will be able to learn more about the demonstration network by speaking to members of the technical officers teams, who have been instrumental in supporting and leading the demonstration farmers in the work.
In preparation for the Winter Fair, Technical Development Manager, Siwan Howatson, who oversees all the demonstration networks’ activities remarked on the successes.
“By placing Farming Connects’ focus on the demonstration network at this flagship event, we hope it will encourage farmers to think more about implementing new, innovative ways of working and introducing new technologies to improve performance in their own farming systems.”
Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.