A YOUNG pig farmer near Whitchurch says he feels 'a bit surreal' after successes at the National Pig Awards.

Just 17 years old, Harri Heeley works for Alkington Pedigree Pigs and was a runner-up in the 'Pedigree Pig Breeder of the Year' competition and also won new 'Pedigree Pig Breeder of the Year.'

The young farmer travelled to London on Tuesday, November 22 and said he was left speechless after receiving his award.

He said: "It was a great evening and there were a lot of well-respected people there.

"I was a finalist for the Pedigree Pig Breeder of the year and that is run by the British Pig Association.

"It feels a bit surreal."

He added: "I did the new Pedigree Pig Breeder of the year.

"I won my category and I was against loads of people.

"There were people who were a lot older than me."

Harri has Berkshire pigs, which are a rare breed, and he supplies pork to venues in Whitchurch.

In addition to working on the farm, Harri is learning about agriculture in college.

Despite his young age, Harri has been to a number of agricultural shows and competed successfully in many competitions.

He said: "I am working alongside studying in college and sorting my pigs out.

"I do a lot of shows with the pigs which promotes the breed a lot.

"I went up to the Great Yorkshire Show this year, the Royal Welsh Show, the Three Counties, which are all big shows.

"The Great Yorkshire Show is the biggest pig show in the UK.

"I won 'Reserve Breed Champion' in Royal Welsh and the Great Yorkshire and I also won overall 'Pig Champion' in the Oswestry Show."

Harri comes from a farming background and started breeding pigs a few years ago.

He explained: "I started breeding pigs three years ago when we moved onto our farm.

"I went to help a chap down the road and he gave me my first pig and I have just expanded from there.

"When we moved to our tenant farm, I got a chance to expand a bit more and grow it."

When asked about his future plans Harri said: "I will be involved in a lot more competitions in the future."

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