A pioneering farm in Bangor-on-Dee is leading the way when it comes to sustainable agriculture.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths visited farm in Bangor-on-Dee and another in Llandegla which are benefiting from the Farming Connect scheme.

In Bangor-on-Dee, the Minister met with biochemist Cheryl Reeves who farms a beef finishing enterprise.

Cheryl recently won the Farming Connect Public Engagement Award and has started a successful educational initiative, ‘Agrication’, which introduces farming to schoolchildren. 

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This involves visiting schools and hosts farm visits, spreading messages about the important role of farmers and food producers through social media.

An automated calf rearing system was also set up at the farm in June 2019 with support from Farming Connect. This system has the capacity to rear up to 120 calves in one batch and has improved the business cashflow, profitability, and reduced manual handling and labour.

Whitchurch Herald: Cheryl Reeves. Cheryl Reeves.

Farming Connect has helped Cheryl develop her skills which has helped her become a mentor to other farmers.

“Farming Connect has provided me with crucial support and helped me gain new and exciting skills,” she said.

“I am passionate about ensuring future generations understand food and farming which is why I started ‘Agrication’ and it’s been fantastic to see young people taking an interest.

“I was pleased to be able to discuss this with the Minister and it was great to show her around the farm.”

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At Plas yn Iâl farm in Llandegla, farmer Huw Beech explained to the Minister the agri-environment work taking place on the farm to improve their overall woodland management.

Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “Farming Connect is an important factor in helping us reach our goals of pushing Wales’ rural economy towards a greener and more sustainable future. I am proud of the programme’s achievements, providing valuable training courses for more than 6,000 beneficiaries. It’s clear the support is valued by our agriculture sector.

“In light of the ongoing challenges faced by the industry we confirmed an extension to Farming Connect through to March 2023. We are developing proposals for a replacement Programme to ensure there is no gap in provision.”