IF you are involved with either pigs, poultry or both, you won’t want to miss a unique opportunity to hear from some of the UK’s leading experts from these two rapidly expanding sectors and to find out what support is available to you.

Farming Connect, working in collaboration with Menter Moch Cymru (an initiative funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020) has arranged Wales’s first ever sector-specific one-day ‘Pig and Poultry’ event. Fully-funded, the event will take place on Thursday, 13 June at Welshpool Livestock Market, Buttington Cross, Welshpool SY21 8SR.

The day will be divided up into two halves either side of a lunch break, giving delegates the option of attending either a full or half day. Morning registration will start at 9.30am, and afternoon registration at 12.30pm. The day will end around 5pm.

Learn what some of the UK’s top pig and poultry producers are getting right to ensure that their award-winning produce comes not just top of the class but top of many leading chefs’ shopping lists for taste, provenance, welfare and sustainability.

Find out what Nathan Ward, director for meat, fish and poultry at leading market research and consumer insight company Kantar has to say about current shopper and consumer market trends: what people are buying, where they are shopping and what is driving consumption of these products. Nathan will be presenting both in the morning and the afternoon.

The morning speakers include well-known Montgomeryshire vet and poultry specialist Ian Jones of Hafren Vets. Ian, a Cambridge graduate, looks after several million laying hens, many millions of game birds and a significant number of broilers. He is also a Wales representative on The British Free-Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA).

Ian will be joined by David Hodson of Rosehill Agricultural Trading, a Shropshire based family company that has worked within the poultry industry since the 1970’s, providing technical support and training with all aspects of vaccine and poultry treatment application. Egg producer, Osian Williams will also be sharing his experience of working with Farming Connect on a project to improve the welfare and productivity of his flock.

In the afternoon, Mark Hayward, joint owner of acclaimed Dingley Dell Pork will share his industry knowledge and experience of rearing award-winning pork from his 900-strong Red Duroc outdoor sow herd in Suffolk, which he sells to Michel Roux and the Gordon Ramsay Group.

Rhodri Owen, farm manager at Coleg Glynllifon will provide an update on recent trials, learnings and changes since the college’s high-tech farrow-to-finish unit opened in 2016; and Mark Sloyan, the recently retired pork sector director of the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) will give an overview of the pig industry outlook ‘Preparing For The Road Ahead’.

Dewi Hughes, technical manager with Menter a Busnes, which delivers Farming Connect on behalf of the Welsh Government says that the event, the first of its kind in Wales, is a reflection of the need to provide support and guidance to these two expanding sectors. Many Welsh producers are already ahead of the field, as UK buyers – including a number of renowned food service and retail customers – flock to their farm gates.

“The poultry sector is perhaps one of Wales’ biggest success stories in recent years, with many farms diversifying to run successful pullet, laying, broiler and pheasant units alongside red meat, dairy and arable enterprises,” said Mr. Hughes.

“There are a number of poultry producers who collectively manage a population of approximately 8.5 million birds in Wales and there are currently more than 1,300 registered pig producers.

“The pig sector receives significant support through Menter Moch Cymru, which was formally set up last year in response to the growing demand for services for this sector.

“Farming Connect is particularly pleased to be working in partnership with them on not only this event, but other initiatives which provide support, guidance and training to pig producers,” said Mr. Hughes.

The event will also mark the launch of a new ‘Herd Health’ grant programme, administered by Menter Moch Cymru, which will offer Welsh pig farmers 80% funding up to a maximum of £300 in the first year and further financial support for up to three years following on from this to help them improve productivity and profitability.

All places must be booked in advance. Call Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000813. Alternatively book online by visiting: www.gov.wales/farmingconnect

Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Both Farming Connect and Menter Moch Cymru (an initiative funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020) are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government

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