Honours for Welsh farming leaders

11 February 2015

Nine hardworking and deserving industry leaders have been given the honour of being advanced to fellows of the Royal Agricultural Societies for their continued contribution to the agricultural and rural industries in Wales.

It was with great pleasure that the Welsh National Panel and the National Moderators Panel for the Council of Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies have approved the advancement of nine associate members and thus granted them the coveted title of Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural Societies (FRAgS).

Edwin Hughes of Cornist Ganol Farm, Flint was made an associate in 2009 following his submission ‘Farming and Community Activities’.
Since retiring from his position of Director of the Wynnstay Group, Mr Hughes has continued to make an outstanding contribution to the farming industry and his community activities. As a senior Justice of the Peace, Mr Hughes sits on the National Council of the Magistrates Association and the Lord Chief Justice’s Advisory Committee for Wales.
Mr Hughes has also played a significant role in farming politics, serving as the County NFU Chairman and also continues to serve as the founder and vice chairman of the Flintshire Vintage and Classic Tractor Society.

Meurig James of Whitland, Carmarthenshire was made an associate in 2009 following his submission ‘The role of type classification in the breeding and managing of profitable, long living, dairy cows’.
Mr James now holds the position of Breeds Development Executive for Holstein UK where he is largely responsible for influencing the Holstein breed, other dairy breeds and safe guarding the image of cattle showing in the modern era.  Mr James has also recently been an officer at the Carmarthen chamber of agriculture and he continues to be involved with the top dairy shows throughout the UK where he is well respected by all breeders and showmen.

Peredur Hughes of Llanddeusant, Holyhead, Anglesey was made an associate in 2009 following his submission ‘A lifetime in agriculture, a moment in agri-politics’.
Mr Hughes has continued to make an outstanding commitment to agriculture throughout recent years by chairing the Welsh Governments Animal Health and Welfare Steering Group. Mandated to give Welsh Government and the industry direction in dealing with a raft of animal health diseases and welfare issues, Mr Hughes works closely with Dr Christianne Glossop, the Welsh Government’s Chief Veterinary Officer.  The steering group was replaced by the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Group of which Mr Hughes was asked to be the chair.

David Jones of Machynlleth, Powys was made an associate in 2009 following his submission ‘My contribution to the wool industry and its produce’.
Before his retirement, Mr Jones worked for the British Wool board for 25 years and is widely recognised as one of the most knowledgeable people in the UK on every type of wool in the British wool clip. Mr Jones is an internationally renowned wool judge and also sits on both the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s shearing committee and the National Sheep Association Cymru committee. Mr Jones has also been awarded the John Gittins Memorial award and the George Hedley Memorial award in recognition of his contribution to the British wool industry.

Tegwyn Jones of Mallwyd, Machynlleth, Powys was made an associate in 2009 following his submission ‘Farming conservation and energy production’.
By exploring new ways to utilise the family hill farm, Mr Jones has expanded his farming enterprises to encompass and make full use of the available natural resources, which now include two very successful hydro-electric schemes. To share his knowledge and innovative skills and determination to be successful, Mr Jones has hosted many farm visits and undertaken numerous talks to farming organisations and training groups where he encourages others to ‘think outside the box’.

Gareth Vaughan of Dolfor, Powys was made an associate in 2009 following his submission ‘Investing in the future’.
During his role as President of the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW), Mr Vaughan has travelled far and wide representing fellow farmers and his contribution to the Welsh farming community was recognised by the Queen in the 2011 New Years Honours list. Since his retirement from the FUW Mr Vaughan has remained extremely active in the industry, sitting on committees, chairing FWAG Cymru and supporting charities.

Robert Alwyn Rees of Pennal, Machynlleth, Powys was made an associate in 2009 following his submission ‘Genetic improvement of Welsh mountain sheep and cattle’.
Mr Rees continues to be a pioneer in all aspects of his farming career.  His achievements in developing and using genetic knowledge are now legendary and, as proof, his stock consistently achieves record prices in the auction rings and many accolades in the show ring. A keen ambassador for the industry, Mr Rees is always ready to give encouragement and share his experience and knowledge with others.

Bob Parry of Bryngwran, Holyhead, Anglesey was made an associate in 2004 following his submission ‘My role in Welsh agriculture’.
Mr Parry has played a very influential role in the shaping of Welsh agriculture within the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) as Chair of the Livestock Committee, Deputy President and President, a role he held for 12 years. His knowledge and expertise have helped with many decisions and discussions including compensation for farmers as a result of the Chernobyl fallout, live exports, the CAP reform, promoting Welsh lamb internationally and the setting up of the Beef Promotion Council. Mr Parry continues to make an outstanding contribution to his community in his role as County Councillor.

John T Davies of Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire was made an associate in 2009 following his submission ‘Promoting agriculture within the public sector’.
Mr Davies continues to be a prominent and influential figure in Welsh affairs and a tireless supporter of agriculture and the rural economy. In his role as Chairman of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Board of Directors, Mr Davies provides strong leadership and guidance and acts as an effective bridge between the society, its members, the wider rural community and the Welsh Government.

“Reading through the citations and the supporting letters of recommendation is always a humbling and pleasurable experience.” says Mr Cyril Davies, Royal Welsh Agricultural Society representative on the CARAS council and a member of the Welsh Moderator’s Panel.

 “We are fortunate to have many knowledgeable and enthusiastic leaders within the Welsh agricultural industry and we are very proud that nine of those have been given the advancement to Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural Societies.”

All nine fellows will be officially presented with their certificates at a reception held on the Tuesday evening of this year’s Royal Welsh Show.