Efficiency is the watchword for the newest member of the NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales committee. Owen Watkins believes that in uncertain times responding to market demands and controlling costs is the way forward.

He said: “We aim to run our own lambs to our own standards. We try to be as efficient as we can get, that’s my motto.

“We make sure we farm within our means, not spending money where we don’t need to.”

Excellence in all that he does is also crucial. Owen won the NFU Cymru Livestock Championship Award 2018/2019 at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair. He also had the overall Texel Champion ram at the main NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale in 2016.

He runs 650 commercial ewes and 60 pedigree Texels in partnership with his father, Philip, at Caenantmelyn Farm, Hay-on-Wye. It rises from 700 feet above sea level to 1,300 feet.

The yearling pedigree rams are sold at the NSA Wales and Border Main Ram Sale, where he says buyers recognise quality and veterinary inspected sheep. The farm supplies the Kepak Group at Merthyr Tydfil with Texel x Mule lambs, at deadweight 20.5kg and grading 90 per cent E and U. They breed their own Texel x Mule replacement ewes.

Owen said: “I think the Ram Sale is very important. We need to keep it moving with the times for the modern shepherd and keep that high heath status, with top quality rams on display to show off what the sheep industry in the UK can produce.

“It’s an uncertain world at the moment and we need to keep the sale flowing for buyers and sellers.”

Owen has confidence in the long term future of the sheep industry. He feels that Wales has the best sheep in the world and, given a level playing field, there is a ready market for top quality lamb.

Owen has recently become engaged to Rachel Gittoes, a farmer’s daughter who works for McCartneys.