Hannah Wright is Farming Connect’s recently appointed development officer for the South Wales region, which includes Gower and a large area in the former county of Glamorgan.
Hannah grew up on her family’s small beef and sheep holding in north Gower. She says that although the farming gene skipped her parents, who both worked off-farm, it was always her aim to return home and develop this fifth generation family business. She now combines her new Farming Connect role with farming part-time alongside her grandparents and is also in the final year of a second foundation degree in agriculture at Coleg Sir Gar.
“My first 2.1 degree was fashion-related which led to me working as a seamstress for a number of years. In 2014, I followed my ‘agricultural dream’ and worked on a large dairy enterprise in New Zealand where I learnt so much about business management. In 2015 it was time to return to the UK so I moved to Scotland working throughout the lambing season, another fantastic learning experience, before coming back to Wales and signing up for a second agriculture degree.
By today, Hannah is intent on reintroducing a breeding programme to her farmstead. She recently bought a small flock of Lleyn ewe lambs which she plans to build up year on year. Alongside this, she hopes to increase the current calf rearing enterprise, by introducing a new small herd of Hereford cross beef cattle.
Hannah is looking forward to her new role with Farming Connect.
“Although my geographic area is large, and tends these days to focus mainly on beef and sheep farming, this is also an area which attracts a lot of tourism enterprises.
“I’ll be keen to signpost farmers to the many Farming Connect services and projects available. Having tapped into many of them myself, I know that they can help transform business efficiency and productivity in the most effective and profitable way.
“These include events on diversification, business and technical planning but also specialist projects which can help farmers improve both personal and business development, which can make their businesses more profitable and in turn will drive the industry in Wales forward,” said Hannah.
Already well known locally through her previous role with the NFU Mutual in Swansea, and her ongoing links with the YFC Glamorgan branch where she was formerly secretary and treasurer, Hannah is still often called upon to help out with judging and advise on local competitions.
She will manage three Farming Connect topic-led discussion groups for sheep farmers in her area but also wants to hear from beef farmers, as she plans to set up a new discussion group soon.
“Please get in touch with me if you are keen to improve your beef production levels. I plan to involve a local vet who is part of the Welsh Government’s recently lauched BVD screening project in the new group and we’ll be covering topics such as nutrition and general animal health and welfare,” said Hannah.
You might also spot Hannah at some of the main sales in her patch, including Penderyn in the Neath valleys and Cowbridge Mart.