Young sheep farmers will hear about becoming the best

Two ambitious young farmers from Wales will attend the cross-industry biannual Sheep Breeders Round Table in November which will focus on ‘Becoming the best sheep industry in the world’.

Rhys Edwards of Bridgend and Beth Howells of Hay-on-Wye hope to develop their knowledge of sheep breeding systems during the course of the three-day event in Derby. It features a wide range of speakers who will cover topics such as UK and international sheep sector activity, developing a resilient industry, and ewe efficiency.

It will also include an update on the Welsh Government European Union funded Hill Ram Scheme, by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) Flock Genetics Executive, Gwawr Parry. She will discuss the pioneering project and how it is using technology to record data to drive on-farm efficiency. She will also participate as a panellist in a red meat levy board update where she will give a presentation on how new knowledge on genetics is leading to changes on sheep farms.

Gwawr said: “HCC is pleased to support two enthusiastic young farmers to attend this highly informative and insightful event. Not only does it include a line-up of fascinating speakers, but it is also a valuable opportunity to engage with farmers, breeders, researchers and vets from across the country.

“I am looking forward to providing an update on the Hill Ram Scheme, which is encouraging the use of performance recording and improved genetics, specifically within the hill sector to boost animal production efficiency and help hill farmers meet modern market requirements.”

Rhys Edwards, a recent runner-up in the Farmers Weekly Awards’ Sheep Farmer of the Year category, is a participant in the RamCompare project and will also contribute to the event with a presentation on the benefit of using EBVs on his farm. He will discuss his farming system and RamCompare results, a project which will enable the UK sheep industry to drive genetic improvement forward through the inclusion of commercial data in genetic evaluations.

He said: “After attending the event in 2017, I’m looking forward to going again this year to learn more about what other are doing in the industry across the UK. I’m delighted to be discussing the results and sharing my experience of the RamCompare lambs in front of an innovative audience.”

Beth Howells is attending the event as an ambassador for HCC. Having recently graduated from Harper Adams University in BSc Agri-Business, Beth is now working as a trainee nutritionist and has an aspiration to establish her own farming business; developing a meat box business to increase awareness of where the meat comes from.

The Sheep Breeders Round Table will be held on Friday 15th to Sunday 17th November 2019. More information and a detailed programme can be found online:


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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.