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Expert advice on hand for pig keepers in Wales – come and see what’s on offer at the Spring Festival.

Farming Connect are urging those thinking of going into pig farming, established pig farmers and hobby pig keepers to visit at this year’s Royal Welsh Spring Festival, which will take place at the Llanelwedd showground on 19 and 20 May 2018.

Farming Connect, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government will be hosting a series of practical daily demonstrations targeted at pig-keepers, a joint initiative between Farming Connect, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society and Hybu Cig Cymru.

Eirwen Williams, director of rural programmes with Menter a Busnes, which delivers the Farming Connect service on behalf of the Welsh Government, is expecting a busy time at this annual action-packed event.

“You’ll find Farming Connect staff in a number of locations this year, including the Pig section, ‘Getting started’ stand in the Smallholder Centre and at the Lantra Building. Our aim is to encourage all eligible individuals to tap into the many services and knowledge transfer events available in the current programme.

“Anyone wanting to prepare their business to meet the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead at this economically challenging time, should come and talk to our staff.” 

Animal health and welfare including the integration of biosecurity and awareness of African Swine Fever are highlighted in the Pig Section throughout the festival supported by advice delivered by renowned pig vet Bob Stevenson and Hybu Cig Cymru.

"HCC is delighted to partner with Farming Connect at this year's Spring Festival," said HCC Market Development Officer, Kirstie Jones. "We're looking forward to welcoming as many of Wales's pork producers as possible, giving advice on branding, and discussing the opportunities of the Porc.Wales marketing platform. We'll also have brand new recipe cards available to give consumers ideas of how to cook fabulous pork from Wales."

Over the weekend Bob Stevenson will deliver interactive seminars about genetic selection and the variations in pig breeds. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about pig health, husbandry and marketing.  

“My underlying theme will be the maximising the health of your pigs while also promoting their welfare. In addition, I will be explaining the advantages of pure breeding, simple one-step cross-breeding and the highly developed hybrid/tribrid pigs. We’ll also chat about any particular requirements for you and for your pigs” 

Those who would like to learn more about the messages shared over the weekend can take advantage of the new e-learning module “Pig Bio-security for smallholders”. 

Jodie Roberts, Farming Connect’s Pig and Poultry Technical Officer will be available throughout the weekend to provide information to any individuals seeking advice and guidance. 

“At this year’s Spring Festival, we hope pig producers take advantage of the knowledge available- experts on pig health and welfare and marketing are eager to provide valuable information to visitors”. 

The full timetable for activity over the weekend can be found here on the Farming Connect website.