The Farmers’ Union of Wales is looking forward to a busy day at the Welsh Dairy Show on Tuesday October 30.
Hosting 2 seminars on the day at the FUW stand, the focus will be on the challenge of managing milk price volatility in a fair and transparent way and we will be exploring what the opportunities and challenges are for the dairy industry post Brexit from an exporters point of view.
Addressing the ‘Future Milk Prices? Smoothing Volatility Without Speculating’ seminar is DairyVol™ co-founder Tim Cowen. The event will start at 11.30am and provides an opportunity to ask questions, as well as getting a deeper understanding of how dairy farmers can secure a fair long term milk price by taking the tops off the highs and bottom off the lows.
With bonfire night fast approaching, the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging people to remember the distress fireworks and sky lanterns can cause to livestock and pets and reminds them of the dangers posed by bonfires.
“We call on people to stick to the firework safety code at all times, especially over the bonfire and Halloween season, to minimise the risk to livestock, pets and humans,” said FUW Policy Officer Charlotte Priddy.
“This time of year poses many dangers to animals and children – so don’t let negligence and ignorance be the cause for a real-life horror,” added Mrs Priddy.
Animals in general are not fond of the noise of fireworks and can become quite anxious during this time of year. Therefore, the FUW urges people to be considerate and not let them off near livestock.
“It is also a good idea to make sure that your pets have been micro-chipped by a vet and that the details on the chip are up to date prior to bonfire night, just in case they go missing,” said Mrs Priddy.
The FUW recommends that people visit an organised display but if you are having a display at home please make sure you follow the firework code at all times to minimise the stress for farm animals and children.
Farmers across Wales can breathe a sigh of relief as Environment and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove, during the second reading of Agriculture Bill, said that agricultural funding will not be Barnettised, and the current settlement which allocates money to Wales on rural and agricultural criteria will be maintained.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns has today also reinforced that commitment giving further hope to the farming community in Wales.
Describing the announcement as a very positive step forward, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “This is most welcome news and provides some guarantee on future funding for Welsh agriculture. Wales would lose around half of its rural funding if allocated through the Barnett Formula.
“This announcement has been long awaited and I am pleased to see that the FUW’s lobbying on not Barnettising Welsh rural funding, as part of the #FairFarmFunding campaign, has been successful.
“We now look forward to working with the UK Government to generate a future farming funding programme that suits the needs of family farms in Wales, that are so vital to the rural economy.
“As we have made clear since the EU Referendum and as promised by key Brexiteers, the budget for Welsh agriculture must be maintained at at least current levels.”
Farmers on Anglesey who are short of winter fodder have been given a helping hand by the Farmers’ Union of Wales and Horizon.
“We are pleased to announce that Horizon are donating a limited number of bales of silage from the Wylfa Newydd site to farmers who live and farm on Anglesey. To be eligible they will need to meet specified criteria, agreed between Horizon, FUW, RABI, FCN and they have to prove that their farm is below 250 acres,” said FUW Anglesey CEO Alaw Jones.
Those wishing to apply can bring their SAF summary into the county office in order to verify that their farm size and the bales are only for the applicant’s own use and not for resale.
“After a disastrous harvest earlier in the year, caused by the severe drought, the window of good weather in recent weeks has come as a lifeline for hundreds of farmers and their animals, allowing desperately needed additional crops of silage to be taken ahead of the autumn and winter but farmers are not out of the woods yet. So this is a great example of a successful company supporting farmers in their local community and I hope that those who are struggling will take up the offer,” added Alaw Jones.
Ahead of World Mental Health day (October 10), farmers and those living in rural communities across Wales are being reminded that ‘it’s ok to say’ and the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging them not to hide problems from themselves, their families and friends and to talk about their personal feelings.
The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in 2017 to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is therefore renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.
“This year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is young people and mental health in a changing world. Our young people are faced with an uncertain future and their world is changing rapidly, which will no doubt cause anxiety and stress to many.
“Their farming businesses are under threat, our export markets post March 2019 are unclear and any support for the industry has still not been finalised. Add to that the growing problem of bovine TB and you have a recipe for the perfect storm,” said Union President Glyn Roberts.
The Farmers’ Union of Wales is mourning the loss of its life member Gwilym Jones, who sadly passed away aged 89.
Mr Jones of Ty Cerrig , Llanrhaeadr YM, Oswestry, Salop, was a Vice President of the FUW between 1982 and 1986 and again during 1990 and 1993 and was elected a Life Member of the FUW during 1995 in acknowledgement of his service to the FUW .
Gwilym Jones was born into farming stock and has always worked on the land. In 1957 he bought his first farm, Ty Cerrig, at Llanrhaeadr YM near Oswestry and started out milking just three cows by hand.
He joined the FUW in 1958 but it was not until the late '60s that he became Chairman of the Tanant Valley Branch, serving on the Denbigh County Executive Committee. He was also elected onto the Milk Committee, of which he was Chairman for two years from 1979 until being made Vice President, a position he held for 11 years.