NFU Cymru's Next Generation Group 2022

04 May 2022

We Are Welsh Farming
Pictured are the new members of the next generation group

NFU Cymru has welcomed a new group of enthusiastic young Welsh farmers to represent the industry as part of the union’s Next Generation group.

This is the third intake of the group, which was set up to encourage younger members of the farming community to have their say on the future of Welsh farming.

Meet the group members

Awel Mai Hughes

Meirionnydd

Awel is 34-years-old and farms in partnership with her husband on their beef and sheep farm in Maerdy, near Corwen and has two very young children, Twm and Casi. They have a herd of Welsh Black cattle and are in the process of expanding the farm and establishing new on-farm calf rearing units.

Awel is also a Partner and Solicitor with specialist agricultural law firm, Agri Advisor and is based from their Bala and Welshpool offices.

Awel studied at Aberystwyth University and at the College of Law in Chester before qualifying as a Solicitor in 2013. She has extensive experience in advising clients about wills and succession planning, probate and the administration of agricultural estates and Inheritance Tax planning.

A fluent Welsh speaker, Awel is also passionate about providing rural enterprises with holistic advice through her role as a Director of Rural Advisor Ltd, a company that specialises in advising rural businesses. Awel is a member of the Agricultural Law Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and an Agri Academy Alumni.

Bryn Perry

Pembrokeshire

Bryn Perry is a 34-year-old first generation tenant farmer from Pembrokeshire. He initially completed a degree in Business Management and came to agriculture later in life after moving to Wales in 2017.

Bryn started on an organic dairy farm and gained experience there over four years, before securing a council farm tenancy in Pembrokeshire. He now runs a flock of 80 milking ewes milking once a day from grass. He also runs a small herd of breeding Alpacas alongside the replacement ewe lambs.

Milk is processed into cheese and ice cream by their brand Ewenique Dairy. They recently launched Wales' first and only Ewe Whey Vodka under Ewenique Spirits who were recently shortlisted for the Innovation Award at the Wales Food & Drink Awards.

Bryn was part of Farming Connect's 2021 Agri Academy winning the Business and Innovation Challenge and recently received the Brynle Williams Memorial Award for young farmers.

Bryony Gittins

Monmouthshire

Bryony Gittins farms 700 Texel X Lleyn and Aberfield sheep on 302 acres of Welsh countryside. Zoology graduate and former outdoor pursuits instructor Bryony returned to the family farm near Abergavenny in 2017 after a time working in London where she worked for a leading merchant bank and then Hay on Wye where she worked in outdoor education settings and in expedition leadership.

Determined to follow in her father’s footsteps as he relinquishes the responsibility and day-to-day work on the upland farm, Bryony is steadily building up her knowledge, experience and expertise in the farming industry and strives to improve her flock health, build business value and increase profitability.

She has expanded into various tourism diversification, is exploring renewable energy and environmental schemes and plans to develop her woodland which she hopes will lead to increased biodiversity along with providing an area for further diversification options.

Proud to be a female farmer, Bryony works hard to promote diversity in the industry and raise awareness of mental health in agriculture. “My ambition is to be a role model for others, providing support and demonstrating my contribution to the industry in hope to inspire and motivate others.” 

Carys Jones

Monmouthshire

Carys attended Harper Adams University, obtaining a BSc (Hons) degree in Rural Enterprise & Land Management. Following five years working with Savills (UK) Ltd as a Rural Chartered Surveyor, she joined her family dairy farming business, Larchwood Holsteins, on a full-time basis in March 2019 and was made a partner in 2021.

Carys started investing in her own pedigree animals at the age of 17, and has a real passion for genetics, showing and the promotion of the Holstein breed.

She completed the RABDF Entrepreneurs in Dairying Course in 2020 and was awarded the RWAS Oxford Farming Conference Scholarship in 2019. She has been an active member of both Gwent YFC and South Wales Holstein Young Breeders Club, competing in National stockjudging, public speaking and drama competitions.

Carys is a keen advocate of UK agriculture, using social media platforms to engage and educate consumers about the story behind their food.

Ernie Richards

Brecon & Radnor

Ernie Richards, 29, a first generation young entrant, I am a shepherd working on a 150 hectare upland grassland farm, near Hay-on-wye. Along with my boss Stuart Morris, I help manage a high health status closed flock of 1,000 pedigree Lleyn sheep, producing entire prime lambs and purebred breeding females.

 

I've always had a passion for agriculture, and have taken full advantage of any opportunities that have come my way. To gain as much information as possible, I studied BSc Agriculture with Animal Science at Aberystwyth University, and in recent years I have undertaken a variety of industry courses to increase my skills, in which I have been recognised recently by winning the Farming Connect Young Learner of Year at the Lantra Wales Awards.

 

I am always keen to help promote agriculture by educating the younger generation, and be part of discussion groups to move our industry forward. 

Jâms Morgan

Ceredigion

I am 32-years-old and have grown up on a dairy and sheep farm just north of Aberystwyth. After studying agriculture in The University of Reading, I returned home to run our farm in partnership with my parents.

I am the ninth generation of my family to farm our land. After University I spent a brief period working and traveling through New Zealand gaining experiences on large dairy herds. I’m passionate about sustainable farming practices in particular within the dairy industry and tackling climate change. Outside the farm I spend my time kayaking having played canoe polo for the Welsh under 21 team.  

Jessica Williams, 38-years-old from Bryncrug, Meirionnydd. Farming Native Breeds of Pedigree Welsh Black cattle, Pedigree Lleyn sheep and a flock of 500 Hardy Welsh Mountain ewes on the upland area.

Also a keen beekeeper with an on-farm apiary with the help of my nine-year-old twins. Graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Environmental Health at Cardiff and went on to a further Postgraduate Certificate in Leading Change through Aberystwyth University.

In 2021 my husband and I started a business selling our Native Breed meat direct to the final consumer through meat boxes sold from the farm using our local abattoir, reducing food miles and allowing local people to consume meat that has been born and bred on our farm in their local area.

Katie Davies

Pembrokeshire

Katie who is 31, comes from an arable farm on the coast of Pembrokeshire, where they grow barley, wheat, and oil seed rape. Her Father also runs a successful agronomy business.

In January 2022, Katie completed the Worshipful Company of Farmers Challenge of Rural Leadership Course, and also attended the Oxford Farming Conference as the 2022 RWAS Scholar. She is an Alumni of the Rural Leadership Agri Academy and the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation, as well as being a member of the Future Farmers of Wales and a part of the Policy Committee.

Katie has been very involved with the Young Farmers Club movement, having finished as Wales YFC Chairman in September 2021, undertaking two years in the role. She has also been a past Pembrokeshire YFC Chairman and Chairman of her club, Llysyfran. She has held numerous other roles at club, county, Wales and national levels.

She is also currently Chairman of the Pembrokeshire RABI Committee and has been actively involved with the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society and the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.

For the last 18 years Leah was a MRICS surveyor focusing on commercial development.  At the back of her mind Leah knew she wanted to return to her roots and follow in her father’s and grandfathers’ footsteps, so she hung up her measuring tape and pulled on her wellies. 

Since making the decision, Leah signed up to the Graduate Certificate in Royal Agricultural University which she will shortly finish.

The farm is based in Monknash, Vale of Glamorgan on an AHA and extends to just under 500 acres, comprising of arable and beef. Leah is hoping to introduce honeybees shortly!

In her spare time Leah loves nothing more than sea swimming, running round after two young boys, coaching the local under 8 football team and trying to find time to paint!

Leanne Davies

Brecon & Radnor

Leanne is a 29-year-old Welsh speaker, who since 2016 has worked for the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society as the Sponsorship Assistant.

She is a sheep farmer's daughter from Llanafan-Fawr, Builth Wells. Formerly farming a flock of 800 breeding ewes until her Dad passed away suddenly in December 2020. Since then, with her Mum, they have reduced the flock to a manageable number of Texel and Black Welsh Mountains.

Leanne is currently Club Chairman and a devoted member of Troedrhiwdalar YFC and also County Vice Chairman of Brecknock.

With a lifelong interest in agriculture, having always been her Dad’s right-hand girl, Leanne is determined to keep the farm going and is keen to develop her farming and agricultural knowledge.

Leanne’s interest in agriculture began at a young age, she is a true believer of making the most of any given opportunity and drives the message to everyone to give anything a go.

Manon Bryn Jones

Mid Gwynedd

My name is Manon Bryn and I am 25-years-old. I was raised in Y Ffor near Pwllheli on a beef and sheep farm and loved to help my father at every possible opportunity. Unfortunately my father had an accident when I was 11-years-old that meant my farming days came to an end until I met Deio (my fiance) in 2014.

From that summer onwards we have started farming on our own. We have developed from 30 acres, 20 sheep and 4 cows to 140 acres, 80 sheep and 40 suckler cows. Our land is a mixture of fields and hill land and we out-winter all of our stock.

I am looking forward to being a member of such an important group as NFU Cymru's Next Generation Group.

Marc Griffiths

Montgomeryshire

My name is Marc Griffiths and I am a 28 year old farmer from Mid Wales. I grew up on our family farm with beef, sheep and arable crops, before heading to the University of Reading to study Agricultural Business Management, graduating in 2016.

I took the opportunity to travel after university, working on a farm in New Zealand before heading home.

We are looking to develop all aspects of the farm, including grazing systems to get the most out of what we have in a volatile climate, taking advantage of knowledge gained from discussion groups run by Farming Connect.

I have been a keen member of YFC over the years, which has really developed me as a person and had me doing all sorts, as anyone who is a member of YFC will have experienced for themselves. I also enjoy getting off farm and playing sports when I can.

Neil Davies

Brecon & Radnor

Neil Davies, 34, from Llangammarch Wells in Powys where I live with my wife and two-year-old son on a 260 acre sheep and beef farm, I rent a further 240 acres and graze 1,900 Hardy Speckled ewes on Epynt MOD range.

I have been fortunate through the Farming Connect programme to have been a member of the Agri Academy 2019 Business and Innovation, Sheep and Beef demo farmer 2019-2023. Over the last four years we have made one big change to our farming business and have changed from running suckler cows to Angus dairy beef. We are currently running 260 head of Angus Cattle farmed on a rotational grazing system.

I look forward to making new friends and helping to shape the future of Welsh agriculture during my time with NFU Cymru’s Next Generation Group.

Rebecca Williams

Brecon & Radnor

I’m Becca Williams, 24. I live and work on a 400 acre beef, sheep and venison farm in Mid Wales run by my family, where I have been full time for five years.

We keep 24 Welsh Black cattle, 700 sheep, and 82 red deer. I have no formal agricultural education but after being involved in both the Farmers Weekly Apprentice scheme and the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation, I am keen to learn as much as I can about the industry that I have a passion to work in.

I’m excited to be a member of the group, meeting new people in the business and networking is extremely important to me. I feel that with education and support like this scheme the future of farming will be positive and as a young person in agriculture I want to be a help and part of that. 

My name is Richard and I’m 24-years-old. I spent five years studying at Reaseheath college. I completed a three year course studying towards an extended diploma in agriculture followed by a further two years studying towards an FDSC in agriculture.

Over the years I have worked on a beef farm in Gloucestershire for former beef farmer of the year Paul Westaway. I have also worked for a Dutch family on their dairy farm in Kent and I spent three years working on a broiler, arable and beef farm in Cheshire which has helped to provide me with a broader understanding of our agricultural industry.

In September 2020 I took over our family farm which is based in Snowdonia. It has been in our family since 1953 and is made up of several enterprises including sheep, poultry layers, horse liveries and holiday accommodation. The farm is also in an (SSSI).

I am from a family farm just outside Swansea, fully involved in running the mixed farming business. I worked weekends in a Butchers in Swansea Market before going to Aberystwyth University, graduating in Agriculture with Business.

I have worked for Dunbia for eight years, starting as an operations graduate, then being given the opportunity to run an Abattoir in the North of Scotland, I found this an extremely valuable experience. I have moved around the country gaining knowledge of abattoir and retail sides of the business as production and operation manager. Currently working in South Wales as an operations analyst. I was part of the 2019 Farming Connect Agri-Academy, which set me up with some lasting friendships.

I look forward to NFU Cymru's Next Generation Group where I intend to broaden my experience and contribute to the programme at this time of challenge, change and opportunity for Welsh and World agriculture.

My name is Sarah Evans and I farm in partnership with my parents on the outskirts of Cardiff, in Pentyrch. I live on the home farm along with my parents and my brother. The farm itself is divided into two; one half is owned, and the other is on a generation tenancy. The enterprise is mixed with a suckler herd and breeding ewes, and we also have a few small diversification projects alongside this.

I have a BSc (Hons) Agricultural Management (Top-up) degree from the Royal Agriculture University, Cirencester. I work on several different farms, most of which are tractor operations roles. I have a keen eye for machinery, especially when they coincide with soil health.  

Since my degree, I have continued my learning and have become more qualified for my role in the farm business. With thanks to Farming Connect I have been able to undertake business, livestock and land courses, I was also a runner up in the Lantra/Farming Connect Young Learner of the Year Award. I still aim to push forward ideas into the business by encouraging more agritourism and educational outlets.   

As part of the next generation group, I am proud to promote the future of Welsh agriculture to advocate this versatile, fantastic industry. However, I will also be raising farm concerns and questions which matter to farmers across Wales.

My name is Susie Mottershead and alongside my husband we raise three small children and work our third generation dairy farm on the Welsh border. We currently milk 310 pedigree Holstein animals and farm 550 acres of land. 

I joined the dairy farm business during lockdown 2020 following a career break to have children. Prior to this I had worked in sales and account management roles in FMCG.

After joining the partnership, I took on full time calf rearing and all care of young stock. It is possibly one area of dairy farms which I have always believed is not given the focus and dedication it warrants. Consequently, I placed calf care firmly at the heart of our farm business. 

My data driven approach to calf care has enabled us to drive significant improvements not only to calf health but also to the efficiency of our calf rearing practices. Being relatively new to farming I have been lucky enough to be aided by a fantastic team of vets, and industry contacts who have supported me on my steep learning curve. One of my biggest achievements to date was winning the silver award for dairy innovation at the British Farming Awards in October 2021.

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query our NFU Cymru will contact you and, if appropriate, your question will be passed on to one of our policy teams.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.