Pedigree sheep breeders from Maesmynis near Builth Wells have been shortlisted for a prestigious agricultural award.

Michael and Ella James of Neuadd Blaenduhonw farm are one of three candidates who could win this year’s Sir Bryner Jones Memorial Award.

The accolade is awarded by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) annually to someone who has reached the highest level of achievement in the farming industry.

This year the judges, Dr David Morris and Mr Dafydd Parry Jones, were looking for the most affective and efficient sheep farming enterprise in Wales.

Since they took over the 211-acre hill farm on Mynydd Epynt seven years ago, the James’ alongside their three children and Michael’s parents, have developed their highly-renowned Bluefaced Leicester flock, which are constantly in the top average nationally.

County Times:

Michael judged at the Royal Highland Show this year. (Photo: Wayne Hutchinson/Facebook)

Michael, a former Wales Chairman of the BFL Society, judged at this year’s Royal Highland Show, in the Bluefaced Leicester (Coloured Type) category and on numerous times has won the accolade of RWAS Champion.

A RWAS spokesperson said: “These achievements were considered as being truly outstanding. Their attention to detail not only in their flock management, shepherding skills, and also in their general farm management skills greatly impressed the judges. 

“The management of the grassland on the whole farm was very impressive, bearing in mind the topography and height above sea level of the farm.

“The major reliance at Neuadd Blaenduhonw on good well managed grass to achieve high levels of livestock output was to be highly commended.”

Michael and Ella’s forward-thinking initiatives have led to adopting modern technology to improve their flock with EID tagging and social media marketing.

Ella James said: “We feel very excited and honoured to be nominated for the award. It’s the first time in 15 years that we’re not showing any of our sheep at the Royal Welsh Show but the nomination makes up for it.

“We’ve seen that modern technology is the way forward for modern day farming."

She added: "We’re fully aware that margins are tight within the sheep industry and we need to remain mindful to keep the business sustainable and efficient.

"It’s important to be pro-active with social media which is a free and modern place to advertise our stock for sale.”