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Farming Connect diversification events – Welsh farmers encouraged to think outside the box and investigate new streams of income

Farming Connect, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, has arranged a series of diversification events this autumn where the focus will be on encouraging farmers to venture into new areas of working which could boost farm profits.

With goat milk, sheep milk, and venison production on the agenda at each event, a number of specialists in these particular fields will give presentations based on their own experiences and knowledge of the sector:

  • 12 September -  The Manor, Brecon Road, Crickhowell, Powys, NP8 1SE
  • 20 September - GYG Karting, Glan Y Gors, Cerrigydrudion, 
  • Conwy, LL21 0RU 
  • 27 September -   The Plough Inn, Rhosmaen, Llandeilo SA19 6NP.

Rob Bunn is a livestock schemes manager for Dovecote Park, which supplies the finest British beef, veal and venison to Waitrose supermarkets nationwide. Rob will give an overview of the British farmed deer scheme and touch on a new funding initiative set up by Dovecote Park with Lloyds Bank, which assists young entrants to the sector, by helping finance deer calves purchased for finishing.

FUW Brecon and Radnor President Kath Shaw, runs a herd of red deer on an 80-acre farm in Radnorshire. Having grown up near London she has achieved a great deal in the farming world. After completing a HND in Agriculture and an ANC in Deer Management she has worked with deer ever since. After setting up her own deer herd in 2004 she now supplies the Welsh Venison Centre in Bwlch, who supply local pubs, restaurants and shops.

Nuffield scholar Gary Yeomans who farms near Abergavenny, is generally regarded as one of the country’s leading goat milk producers. Gary says goats gave him his first step on the farming ladder in 2002 because he saw that there was declining viability of small dairy cow farms. By today, despite increasing competition, he has turned the business into a profitable commercial enterprise with 750 head of British Saanen and Saanen cross British Toggenburg goats. 

Bethesda cheesemaker Dr. Carrie Rimes learned her trade in the fromageries of France before returning home to North Wales with ambitious plans for a new cheese dairy using sheep milk. Carrie says that with the price of cow’s milk currently being so low, there is considerable interest in switching to a product which can sell for two to three times as much as cows milk, and Carrie is doing all she can to persuade more farmers in Wales to meet the rapidly increasing demand for ewes’ milk.

Targeted at those new to these niche areas of farming, the speakers will cover a wide range of issues including market research, breeding, genetics, processing and adding value to the products in readiness for selling. Each event will take place from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and places must be booked in advance.

For further information call Owain Rowlands at Menter a Busnes on 01970 631424. Alternatively visit /farmingconnect. 

Background information

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The Farming Connect Knowledge Transfer Programme and Advisory Service is delivered by Menter a Busnes on behalf of Welsh Government. Lantra Wales leads on the delivery of the Farming Connect Lifelong Learning and Development Programme.