2022 in Review - by FUW President Glyn Roberts

As the saying goes, blink and you’ll miss it. 2022 has been another challenging and busy year for the FUW Group and I must thank all the staff and officials for their continued hard work in making sure we have thriving, sustainable family farms in Wales. We have said good-bye to a few familiar faces this year and I thank the former members of staff who have diligently served the Union for so many years, with special thanks to Peter Davies and Kate Ellis-Evans.

The topics we have dealt with have been far and wide, ranging from land grab issues, the ‘NVZ’ regulations, animal health concerns, climate change and tree planting targets, the first ever Welsh Agriculture Bill that will change how we farm for generations to come, as well as many political ups and downs in Westminster. It’s fair to say that we were kept on our toes throughout the year.

2022 has been a challenge for the UK economy with inflation rates continuing to exacerbate pressures on domestic households as well as businesses and food producers in particular. At the start of the year, our Milk and Dairy Produce Committee warned that rising energy prices were - and are still - not sustainable for the sector. The warning came immediately after reports from dairy farmers of energy costs rising by up to £1,000 a month.

The future of agriculture is safe in the hands of the young

by Angharad Evans, Welsh Language Communications Officer

I'm sure that we’ve all enjoyed looking at pictures and reading about our county offices going out to their local schools to celebrate World School Milk Day recently.

Opportunities like this are crucial in order to teach children from a very young age exactly where the food on their plate comes from. As a Union we are extremely fortunate to have members who are willing to do just that, give some of their valuable time to spend with school children to teach them about the importance of agriculture and promote all the benefits of the food they produce. 

One who does just that is Dan Jones, and takes advantage of the fact that he farms one of the most popular attractions in Wales, the Great Orme in Llandudno, to educate the public and school children. Dan was one of a number of farmers who took part in our Food, Land and People campaign last year, which focussed on various sustainability issues and highlighted the positive work farmers in Wales do to address sustainable development goals.

Giving Gordon Ramsay a taste of a farmer’s life

by Alun Edwards, FUW representative on the Education and Hill Farming committees

Social media can be a blessing and a curse, depending on its use. When media company Four Cymru asked if they could come and make a five-minute video focusing on sustainable farming for HCC, I never thought where it would lead. In no time at all, after it was broadcasted in 2020, it had been watched 275,000 times, a tribute to HCC's promotion and marketing skills for sure.

As a result of this, I quickly understood that the National Geographic television company was trying to contact me after seeing the video, eventually leading to a conversation over Zoom with a man called Doug Veith, who was keen to use the story of Welsh sustainable lamb in an episode of a series called "Uncharted". The series was based on the adventures of a well-known chef to remote places all over the world meeting food producers, and completing many challenges in the process. I asked who...oh, confidential, and had to sign a N.D.A.,"non disclosure agreement" that would be in place during the filming period. I was a little nervous by now, but I agreed! "Never turn down an opportunity" would be my father's advice every time!

The complications then began; could I send videos of possible places to land a helicopter? Can we come in April, yes ok, in the middle of lambing?! Where would a TV crew of over 30 be able to stay, not far from the farm?


by Angharad Evans, Welsh Language Communications Officer

I don't know about you, but there are things I really like about every season (and lots of things I don't like so much too!) but this time of year is very pretty, with the leaves changing colour, and to be a proper Cardi for a minute, appreciating what is free on our doorstep - the hedges full of blackberries and the apple trees full of fruit - there you have some sustainable local foods at their best! And we're in the middle of the thanksgiving season - where better to start, than being thankful for what is local to us.

This time of year is also ideal for a small group of entrepreneurial farmers in North Ceredigion, who saw thousands of unpicked or fallen apples in the local area at the end of each summer as a perfect opportunity to set up a new eco-friendly business that funds itself, and that was the start of Seidr Pisgah Chi.

The group responsible for Seidr Pisgah Chi, some of which have close links with the Union in Ceredigion, includes 5 friends from different working backgrounds, but they share the same passion and enthusiasm in developing the initiative further.

Y Tir on the telly - keep your eyes peeled

Back in February, there was quite a bit of excitement in the Y Tir office! Gwynedd Watkin, FUW Caernarfon County Executive Officer received an request from Gwyn Eiddor, a Designer and Art Director asking if it was possible to receive copies of our monthly paper in order to use them in scenes of a new drama series for S4C, Dal y Mellt. It was too good an opportunity to miss, so our Editor, Nia Davies-Jones arranged for copies to be posted.

After patiently waiting, we can now announce that Dal y Mellt will first be seen on S4C on October 2nd, and I'm sure you, like us, are looking forward to seeing Y Tir appear on the small screen. But how did Dal y Mellt come about?

An adaptation of the popular novel, Dal y Mellt, is one of S4C's latest drama commissions, and its writer from Trawsfynydd, Iwan 'Iwcs' Roberts', is also one of the producers responsible for bringing the novel alive. "I published my first novel, Dal y Mellt, in 2019," said Iwcs. "I knew in my heart as I was writing that it was a very visual novel. It started as a drama in my head, I was just painting with words in a way."

An extract from my busy diary at Tregaron Eisteddfod


The importance of agriculture in the wider context of the holistic fabric of everyday life in Wales

by Glyn Roberts, FUW President

WHAT a week which started with a special Sunday morning service. It was interesting to hear Ifan Jones Evans in his reading referring to the Apostle of Peace Henry Richard, preaching about peace over two hundred years ago considering our situation today! Words of the late Reverend J T Roberts referring to civilization spring into mind, that humanity came from the forest but getting a forest of humanity is much more difficult, as it is still in its infancy.

On the way back to the Union stand I met the Archdruid (Myrddin ap Dafydd) and had an interesting conversation over a cup of tea at our stand, with Myrddin referring to the change in emphasis of land use, and that he was concerned about buying land for planting trees to offset carbon with an extremely important reference to the castles of Dinefwr, Dryslwyn and Carreg Cennen, and the fact that the purpose of building these was to protect the land and preserve it in order to ensure a supply of food through raising and fattening cattle. 

I then had the pleasure of buying a book, Clymau, Plethiadau, Gweadau a Rhwydi by E Lloyd Jones, one of the most cultured members of the Union in Ceredigion. A humble person with a sharp memory. This is not the first book he has written as he has previously published a book on the history of Talgarreg, and rumour has it that he has another interesting book in the pipeline. 

Wonderful to see the YFC Centre filled with life once more

Wonderful to see the YFC Centre filled with life once more

As the YFC year draws to an end, what better way is there than to all come together once again at the YFC Centre on the Royal Welsh Showground at another scorcher of a Show! Competitions kicked off on Sunday with the Federations Display, which were kindly judged and sponsored by Welsh Water. The judges were extremely impressed by the quality and detail of the entrants, and found it interesting and educational to see how each entrant had interpreted and executed the brief.

Competing commenced on Monday, the hottest day on record, with members showing off their skills in another jam-packed competitions programme. The Shearing Pavilion came to life once more after a long time with quiet stalls, and the once dormant YFC stage burst into action with the first stage competitions of the show.


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Ca parte a parteneriatului nostru cu FUW, cazinoul nostru online Ice Casino lansează o serie de jocuri cu tematică agricolă, unde o parte din încasări vor merge în sprijinul agriculturii.