A Powys farmer has stepped into handling the day to day management of a flock of pedigree ewes in the county.

Ernie Richards, who manages a flock of pedigree Lleyn ewes for Stuart and Helen Morris at 350-acre Wernoog, near Clyro, Powys, credited a training course by Farming Connect in helping him learn about best practice in agriculture.

As his knowledge and confidence have grown, the Morris family have taken a step back, moving off the farm to allow Ernie and his family to move into the farmhouse, putting him at the centre of the day-to-day management of the enterprise.

Mr Richards praised a learning course by Farming Connect, which he completed in 2023, in giving him a greater understanding of flock health and performance and the farm’s environmental obligations.

He said: “We will have two students with us for up to six weeks during lambing and for the first time it will be me who will be responsible for managing them.  


“I learned so much on the Farming Connect Leading and Managing training course that will help with that.”

“This focussed on the new rules and it helped me get my head around what we needed to do to be compliant with those.”

He also praised Stuart and Helen Morris for recognising the value of training and development for people working within the farming industry.

He added: “They have allowed me time away from the farm to do these things and I am grateful for that.

“I am trying to move forward all the time, trying to understand as much as I can about farming, and they recognise that this will help them too.”

Looking to the future, Ernie, a member of the NFU Cymru Next Generation Group, sees good opportunities for the next generation of farmers.

“New entrants are the lifeblood of any vibrant industry, and farming is no exception,’’ he says.

 “It can be a difficult sector to get a foothold in for young people with no background in agriculture but going forward I think we will see many more different ways to help make that happen.”