Why Stephen would be an effective mentor

  • Experienced Breconshire sheep farmer Stephen whose family have been farmers for many generations, has travelled all over the UK competing with some of the best, most successful stockmen in the country.  

  • A keen advocate of lifelong learning and training, he says that he puts into practice what he’s learned from a combination of training courses, competing against other stockmen and from the practical business, financial, land and livestock management skills he’s put into practice within his own farm. 

  • Having embraced technology and modern farming practices, he has a good depth of knowledge of EID, data recording and performance recording, and says he feels well placed to help anyone looking to the future and needing guidance on how these technologies could help them. 

  • Stephen also takes great pride in the traditional side of farming, he shows and shears his sheep every year and happily competes in hedge laying competitions, all skills he feels the younger generation should embrace. 

Current farm business

  • Stephen keeps two pedigree flocks. One is a performance recorded Texel flock, and the other a ‘crossing-type’ of Bluefaced Leicesters (BFL). All Texel rams are sold as shearlings at national sales and the NSA in Builth Wells. 

  • In 2022 he received an award for achieving the highest average for a performance recorded flock; and also had the highest ranked Texel for lamb growth within the ‘ram compare’ project. 

  • The Bluefaced Leicesters are mainly sold as lambs. Stephen attends sales all over the UK, including in the North of England at Hawes and Carlisle. The BLFs are the base for the rest of the flock. The BFL are crossed with Swaledale ewes to produce mules, which are sold or kept as replacements to breed with the Texel rams to produce fatstock. 

  • The commercial flock are lambed outdoors in April, all mainly grass fed thanks to an effective grass management system. 

Qualifications/achievements/ experience

  • Agriculture L2 Rural Skills College 2004

  • Farm mechanics L2 Rural Skills College 2004 

  • First Aid at Work Rural Skills College 2004 

  • Animal medicines 

  • Livestock movement

  • Dip and spray qualifications 

  • Computer literate with various farm software (AgriWebb, Farmax)

  • NPTC Felling Cross cutting and processing trees

  • Texelplus Builth Wells Shield 2022 

  • BFL champion at the Royal Welsh Show 

  • Texel Male Champion at the Royal Welsh Show 

  • Hawes Top Price BFL Ram in 2012 

  • Hawes Champion and Reserve 2007, 2008 and 2014 

  • Part of RamCompare project 

  • Grassmaster 

  • Prosper from pasture group member 

  • Hedge laying Welsh u21 Champion 

  • Reserve Champion Bluefaced Leicester Ram, Royal Welsh Show 2009 

  • Clay shooting (represented Wales) 

Top tips for business success

“Lots of small changes can add up to make a massive difference, quite often it’s the little things and attention to detail that can make the biggest difference.” 
“Planning and recording are very important. Keeping records of everything from grass growth, to lambing percentages to expenditure. All this information will help you to plan and improve.”  
“If you look hard enough, you will find ways to improve yourself and your business year on year.”