Farming Connect will be urging Welsh farmers to ensure their businesses are performing at their best and to stay safe when working with animals at this year’s Winter Fair.
Benchmarking against the top third performing farm businesses in Wales could be the catalyst to creating viable sustainable businesses for many farmers, according to Farming Connect.
This was reinforced by beef and sheep farmers Paul and Dwynwen Williams of Cae Haidd Ucha, Llanrwst, the Farming Connect demonstration farmers recently announced as the Farmers Weekly Beef Farmers of the Year 2017, who credit benchmarking and a keen eye for figures for their success.
In a bid to ensure that all farmers are encouraged to tap into the support available to ensure their businesses are performing at their best as the industry prepares for Britain leaving the EU, this will be the key message disseminated to farmers by Farming Connect at this year’s Winter Fair at Llanelweddfrom on November 27 and 28.
“Benchmarking helped the Williams family assess their current strengths and identify areas for improvement and by today, they are in the top third of financial performance for suckler cow production at their 320 acre farm,” said Eirwen Williams, director of rural programmes with Menter a Busnes which delivers Farming Connect. The programme is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
You’ll find Farming Connect representatives in locations including the first floor balcony of the livestock building; the Lantra building (Avenue K); with Coed Cymru where we will be encouraging visitors to find out how to protect and enhance native woodlands and alongside Welsh Government staff in the South Glamorgan Hall.
Farming Connect staff will promote all aspects of the service throughout the two-day event, but the spotlight this year is on farm safety and in particular, working with animals, which have caused many deaths and near-fatalities throughout the UK in recent years.
To help raise the awareness of the dangers of working with animals and reduce the risk of injuries and accidents, the Wales Farm Safety Partnership (WFSP) supported by Farming Connect, will hold four Safe Cattle Handling Workshops daily at the Winter Fair (Monday and Tuesday at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm). Located next to the Lantra building, visitors to the fair are invited to attend one of these 20-minute workshops to learn more about how to handle cattle safely in order to avoid injury to the animals and most importantly to humans.
“This will be a great opportunity to learn new techniques on cattle handling which will help reduce the risks of unnecessary injuries or accidents, so we urge you to drop by – that twenty minute workshop could be a life-saver for you or someone in your family!” said Mrs Williams.
Farming Connect will also focus on personal development though its skills and mentoring programme, and in particular will flag up the benefits of agriculture related e-learning modules, which are free, easy to access from the convenience of your laptop and very informative.
“We’ve now got so many farmers discovering that there’s a wealth of information available to them just by visiting the Farming Connect website.
“Provided they are registered with us and have received their individual username and password from the Farming Connect Service Centre, they’re ready to start building their knowledge on a wide range of online topics including animal health, land management and business skills.” added Mrs Williams.
Farming Connect provides knowledge transfer and advice to all agricultural sectors and is funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.