19 August 2021
The past two days, Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, has met with representatives from Farming Connect’s demonstration and innovation project sites and service users in Mid and South West Wales.
Discussing projects undertaken, innovation and development of the industry, Ms Griffiths made three visits on her tour.
Home to Tom and Beth Evans, demonstration site Pendre near Aberystwyth was the first visit where maximising grass utilisation is the sites primary focus. Speaking about the project on the impact of rotational grazing on soil organic matter, Lisa Robert, Red Meat Technical Officer informed Ms Griffiths about the positive indications intensive rotational grazing is having on the farms soil organic matter.
Discussing the project's early outcomes, the advantages and benefits to Pendre’s carbon sequestration ability were raised highlighting the wider importance of incorporating and promoting sustainable practises in farming systems across Wales.
With sustainability firm on the tour's agenda, the next visit was to Tresinwen, a European Innovation Project (EIP) site to meet Richard Lewis.
Richard, a Pasture for Pollinators project participant, accompanied by Knowledge Exchange Manager, Lynfa Davies spoke about the impactive work done by members of Calon Wen Milk Co-operative over 3 years to boost the number of pollinating insects on their farms.
With pollinating species playing such an intrinsic part in agriculture and food production, Ms Griffiths commended the project outcomes as an impactful discovery to help combat the dwindling population of insects and pollinators in the UK.
A short journey in-land from the coast to visit Bryn Perry & Rebecca Morris brought Ms Griffiths’ tour to an end. Tenants of Wernllwyd Farm, a Pembrokeshire County Council farm, Bryn and Rebecca run a flock of 120 ewes for milking as well as a small herd of breeding Alpacas.
Bryn explained to Ms Griffiths, upon being encouraged by the support accessed through Farming Connect services such as the Business Bootcamp, Advisory Service and Agrisgôp, the couple engaged in a joint venture with Defaid Dolwerdd in 2020 through
Farming Connect’s Venture programme with a view of expanding their sheep dairy business.
Lesley Griffiths, the minster for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd applauded the couple’s vision of production expansion and spoke of the Welsh Governments continued support of Welsh farmers exploring news ways to diversify in the marketplace and add value to their products.