Writing this column makes me realise just how quickly a month goes by! This month has been slightly more unusual though as I lacked some inspiration about the subject of the column.
However, by being part of the union’s Business Conference last month, I gained some inspiration. As staff, our vision is "The Union: United - as One" which ultimately leads to the union's vision of "Creating thriving, sustainable family farms in Wales”. The family farm is at the heart of the FUW and is an important and vital part of our wider communities.
So, the subject of this month’s Cornel Clecs was right under my nose so to speak - the family farm! The official definition of a family farm is: “A farm that is owned and operated by a family, especially one that has been handed down from one generation to another”.
Our family farm is made up of three family members, and has been in my husband’s family for three generations. I have referred in the past that the three of us have an active part in the farm business, whether practically outside or in front of the laptop in the house. With the lambing season now at its peak, everyone spends most of the time outside making sure that everything goes as smooth as possible.
I often refer to the Little Lady of the household, and I want to concentrate on her for a bit, especially as we have just celebrated International Women's Day.
We are on the verge of the biggest change in the history of agriculture for decades, and nobody is sure what’s happening from hour to hour as a result of Brexit. But, looking at our family farm, the future looks fairly safe, in the hands of the fourth generation – the Little Lady.
Since she was old enough to be able to go out with us on the farmyard, the farm's work has become second nature to her. One of my earliest memories of her is watching her taking her little red bucket full of water making sure the lambing pens were all topped up with enough water – an exhausting and time consumping task for an adult, but for her, it meant the world, because she was a ‘proper farmer’ and helping in her own little way.
Over the years, the Little Lady has grown into a keen shepherdess and has taken a great deal of interest in showing. This happened completely by accident after she was given two Jacob pet lambs three years ago, and so she developed more of an interest. As parents, we saw her interest, passion, determination and enthusiasm which led to establishing her very own flock of Jacobs called Gwenerin, her own project and we support her in every possible way.
Little Lady is one of a generation of enthusiastic young people who are keen to enter our industry with new and innovative ideas, and it is important to give them 100% support - they are the future. I think this is the most important way of securing and safeguarding the future of the family farm that will keep our rural communities thriving. Bring on an exciting and successful future!