Delegates of the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) Younger Voice for Farming committee enjoyed a whistle-stop tour of Montgomeryshire farms, exploring two very different enterprises.

Their first stop took them to Pen Y Derw, at Forden, near Welshpool, where FUW members Mark and Helen Williams, farm 40 suckler cows and 900 ewes, as well as running a successful egg production unit.

The poultry unit, which is home to 16,000 free range hens and has been up-and-running since June 2017, provides the family with an additional income, as well as offering extra part time employment in the area.

Younger Voice for Farming chairman Geraint Davies said: “Mark and Helen are a real credit to our industry. We are so thankful to them for taking time out of their busy day and for showing us around. We were left with lots of food for thought.”

The group went on to join the Farmers Weekly Awards 2018 Sheep Farmers of the Year, John and Sarah Yeomans at Llwyn y Brain, Adfa, Newtown.

The Yeomans family run a herd of 73 cows consisting of pedigree Limousin, Limousin x, Belgian Blue x, and 15 homebred replacement heifers (closed herd). They further keep 495 ewes which are mainly Beulah and 160 Beulah ewe lambs and the flock has been closed since 1981. The couple sell Beulah draft ewes and some yearlings, as well as Welsh Mule ewe lambs for breeding and sell finished lambs on a deadweight basis.

The 232 acres of owned farmland sit between 750 feet to 1,420 feet above sea level, with 100 acres (34.8ha) of lower land and 132 acres (53.4ha) of largely improved hill land. A further 53 acres of additional land is rented.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Davies said: “We really enjoyed visiting both farms today. It was great to learn about the two very different farming systems and I thank both families for their time and knowledge exchange.

“Going forward the Younger Voice for Farming committee hope to work their way around each of the counties in Wales to get a broader understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by farmers across the industry. If you are interested in joining us for any of our future events - join the FUW’s Younger Voice for Farming group on Facebook or speak to your County Office to learn more about these events.”