A farming couple from Maesmynis have won the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society's prestigious Sir Bryner Jones Memorial Award.

Michael and Ella James of Neuadd Blaenduhonw near Builth Wells were announced the winners of the highly coveted prize by the society's Chair of Council, David Lewis, on the first day of the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd.

Mr and Mrs James were one of three shortlisted finalists in this year's chosen sector.

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

County Times:

Michael and Ella James collect the Sir Bryner Jones Memorial Award at this year's Royal Welsh Show. (Picture: Mike Sheridan)

They decided the Powys farmers were worthy winners of the society's flagship accolade.

An emotional Michael James said: "We can't quite believe it to be honest. It's a dream come true. All these years of hard work and putting in the effort has paid off."

"It's a real honour and we didn't expect it!" said Ella.

"We'll keep improving and continue what we're doing, and drive our business forwards."

Judge Dr David Morris said: "We chose them because we could see they were running an effective farm that will carry on for many years. They were the most effective and making money at the same time."

Dafydd Parry Jones added: "We were looking for the 'wow factor' and a farm with an effective sheep farming system. The business side had to be very good."

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.

The judges were impressed with Michael and Ella’s ability to produce outstanding animals, for which has been the greatest demand, resulting in top awards and sale prices in the sale ring at the relevant breed shows and sales. 

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 first Sir Bryner Jones award was presented in 1957 by his daughter and has been made annually to someone from a different branch of the farming industry who has reached the highest level of achievement in the chosen sector.