This year’s awards were presented by Mr Jim McLaren MBE, Chairman of NFU Mutual’s Board of Directors at the Royal Welsh Show on Tuesday 19 July.
This year’s main winner is Manon Lewis who receives £1,200 to help fund her travels to New Zealand.
Twenty-two-year-old Manon, from Meifod in Powys, will shortly be graduating from Harper Adams University with a degree in Agriculture with Animal Science. The award will help fund a four-month study trip to New Zealand to learn more about livestock farming. Manon said: “I am fascinated by the low input, self-sufficient production systems in New Zealand, and their drive to be as efficient as possible to improve environmental factors as well as farm profitability. I’m eager to learn more about how the farming industry operates in New Zealand and bring back ideas that will help enhance animal performance and welfare through advances in animal health, genetics, and nutrition. I aim to put this learning into practice as I develop a career in agriculture and hope to eventually start my own farming enterprise in the near future.”
There are six further recipients from the scholarship this year who are each receiving a financial contribution to help with their travels.
Sioned Davies, from Merthyr Cynog near Brecon, receives £750 towards a
six-month trip to the USA and South America. The 24-year-old will take a sabbatical from her role as a Product Development Executive with Oxbury Bank to advance her knowledge and understanding of agriculture. Commenting on her upcoming trip, Sioned said: “My trip will start in Colorado where scarcity of water is a significant issue and I’m keen to learn how they’re tackling that problem, whereas in South America the challenge is how to protect natural capital in the face of economic growth. My trip will give me the opportunity to compare different agricultural practices which will give me the knowledge to help develop my career in agriculture.”
Daniel Evans, a 20-year-old beef and sheep farmer from Silian, near Lampeter, also receives £750. Daniel is a former pupil of Ysgol Bro Pedr and is Chairman of Bro’r Dderi YFC and has also studied at Hartpury College where he attained a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture. He will spend six months in New Zealand where he hopes to learn more about their grassland management and utilisation of forage crops. Commenting on his upcoming trip, Daniel said: “I want to learn more about how the Kiwis harvest and conserve top-quality forage, and I aim to implement the lessons I learn to benefit the family farming business and to help us produce top-quality livestock from grass.”
Also New Zealand bound is 20-year-old Teleri Morgan from Bow Street, near Aberystwyth and she receives £500 towards a three-month trip to New Zealand. She is currently studying Agriculture and Animal Science at Aberystwyth University and commenting on her upcoming trip, Teleri said: “I want to observe how New Zealand farmers use genetic gain in their sheep flock to achieve high scanning, lambing and weaning percentages all in a low input system. By taking all that I learn home with me, I hope to reduce or eliminate the use of concentrates to finish lambs and by cutting our production costs we can create a more successful and profitable business.”
Three of the recipients from the scholarship this year will each receive £200 to help with their travels.
Richard Jones, from Dolgellau, who studied at Reaseheath College before taking over the running of the family farm, receives £200 towards a two-week trip to Japan. Richard is also a member of the NFU Cymru Next Generation Group.
Elliw Dafydd, from Silian near Lampeter, receives £200 towards a two-week trip to Peru as part of the NFYFC International Programme. Elliw works as a freelance actor alongside her role on the family dairy farm, which has recently diversified by setting up a milk vending business.
Rhodri Williams, from Whitland in Carmarthenshire, is currently studying for a masters degree in Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams University and he receives £200 towards a two-week trip to Southern Europe. Rhodri is currently on an industrial work placement for CLAAS machinery at their headquarters in Harsewinkel, Germany.
The scholarship, which is administered by NFU Cymru, was set up in memory of the late Gareth Raw Rees who, for many years, was a delegate on the NFU Council and Chairman of the NFU Cymru Education Committee. Gareth believed fervently that travel was an important form of education for young people.