A POWYS woman steeped in farming has swapped the pasture for the pen after launching a new book set in the agricultural industry.

Stella Owen – who combines her role as NFU Cymru county adviser for Brecon, Radnorshire and Monmouthshire with duties on the family farm – has been promoting the ‘farm to fork’ story by helping to launch a new book titled ‘My Mummy is a Farmer’.

The book is part of a series created by Butterfly Books to raise awareness among children of the career options available to them, with the aim of improving diversity and reducing national skill gaps. By educating, inspiring and entertaining children, the books show that anything is possible.

Stella, who farms the foothills of picturesque Pen-y-Fan, near Brecon, with her husband and two young children, helped launch the book with her daughter, Lexi, via a reading on Instagram Live.

“When the approach came to NFU Cymru it was wonderful to see farming as a career included in among nursing, scientists and engineering,” said Stella.

“If lockdown taught us anything, it was the exciting career of farming; we were fortunate to have our space and fresh air, but we also had on-farm learning under our feet. Teaching Lexi division by dividing sheep into pens in the sheep shed was a maths lesson in itself and we were applying geography and science daily as crops were established in healthy soils with a reliance on forgiving weather.

“The book also complemented the union’s ‘She Who Dares Farms’ initiative and it has been a fantastic opportunity to work with the authors.”


If you move in Mid Wales farming circles you may already know Stella, who has worked in various roles within the NFU over the years, while the family’s smallholding featured as part of the uplifting ‘A Year in the Beacons’ series that premiered on ITV Cymru this year – chronicling 12 months for the farm, as well as other businesses nestled in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Starting in autumn 2019 and filming through to the end of summer 2020, the series celebrates the breath-taking landscape and the people of the Beacons, as they face a year like no other – one that saw devastating floods caused by Storm Dennis and the unprecedented changes of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Programme makers tell the story of the year through the eyes of three different groups, whose lives are intrinsically linked to the Brecon Beacons and the landscape. In addition to the Phillips (Stella’s) family, Harry Legge-Bourke and the staff of the Glanusk Estate, near Crickhowell, feature, as do the Brecon Mountain Rescue Team.

Stella’s husband Andrew and his family have farmed the foothills of Pen y Fan for more than 100 years. They are one of only a handful of farms with rights to graze their sheep on the slopes of Pen y Fan.

For more information about ‘My Mummy is a Farmer’ and the rest of the Butterfly Books collection, visit their website here.