BUILDING on the success of the Wales YFC & Menter Moch Cymru Pig Finishing Initiative in 2017, we are pleased to be working together again to offer this unique opportunity for young farmers in Wales.
In a bid to encourage the next generation of pig keepers and to get farmers thinking about pigs as a viable diversification option, six Wales YFC members have been awarded five weaners each as a stepping stone into the pig industry.
This initiative is a joint venture between Wales YFC and Menter Moch Cymru. Menter Moch Cymru is funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
The winners were announced at the YFC chairman’s reception at the RWAS Royal Welsh Show. They were Rhiannon Davies Caerwedros YFC, Guto Pryderi Huws, Prysor ac Eden YFC, Elin Childs, Llanfynydd YFC, Betsan Flur Williams, Hermon YFC, Elin Haf Williams, Bro Ddyfi YFC & Chris Ludgate, Capel Iwan YFC.
Hefin Jones, Rural Affairs Chairman noted, “Wales YFC is privileged to be working with Menter Moch Cymru on this initiative to help our members to start a new business especially with the uncertainty of Brexit”.
On hearing of her success Elin Haf Williams said “I am very pleased to have been selected. I think it’s a fantastic opportunity and I can’t wait to receive the pigs and to start the training”.
The competition was launched at Wales YFC Field Day back at the end of April to find six enthusiastic new pig keepers. The application process included a written application followed by a farm visit and on-farm assessment. The judges were very impressed with the standard of the applications and had a difficult task to select the final six.
Part of the prize provided by Menter Moch Cymru is a bespoke training programme, starting with the first training session taking place on Thursday morning at the RWAS Royal Welsh Show. The session will be the first introduction to pig handling and show preparation. Something that they will be doing themselves come the RWAS Winter Fair later in the year, thanks to the support of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS). As a new addition to the competition, participants will have their very own live pig class at the Winter Fair to show off their efforts and compare the finish of the pigs against each other.
Before then, they will be attending a training day at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, Glynllifon where they will learn the skills required to rear their piglets, followed by additional training sessions throughout the year. As the judges were so impressed with the quality of the applications, the training is being opened up to all candidates that applied.
Menter Moch Cymru will also be assisting the winners in marketing the pork and will provide continuing support & training to develop the skills required for this new endeavour. The transferrable skills gained throughout this competition will be valuable and applicable to many on-farm enterprises.
“Menter Moch Cymru is delighted to be working with Wales YFC again on this exciting and unique opportunity for their members” said Melanie Cargill, Menter Moch Cymru Project Manager
“It’s encouraging to see that there is real appetite and interest in the pig sector here in Wales, particularly during such turbulent times throughout the agricultural industry. This initiative has been a great success in the past, resulting in farms diversifying and new businesses being established. This year we’ve increased the number of winners, from four to six, to allow more young entrants the chance to take part. We’re very much looking forward to working with and supporting the winners with their new venture.”
The competition will conclude at the end of the year at the RWAS Winter Fair with a pig class for our six finalists.