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Successful 40th year for North Pembrokeshire Grassland Society

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successful yearTHE annual meeting of the North Pembrokeshire Grassland Society included a summary from the Chair person, Joy Smith, of an organised visit made earlier in the year to agricultural units in Yorkshire, and from Will Prichard who used a bursary from the Society’s Rex Patterson fund to see some of the latest dairy technology being applied in Australia.

Reporting on a hugely successful 40th year programme for NPGS, Joy remarked that the farm tour had included a business who had visions of becoming the most successful integrated animal breeding and farming company in Europe.

Having the business was now one of the largest private, familyowned farming companies in Britain, with a reputation for producing and marketing high yields of quality produce and livestock that achieve very acceptable returns on capital.

Founded just over 50 years ago the company has an annual turnover in excess of £20 million and employs over 220 full-time staff, included are three core businesses –arable farming, pig production and genetics-overseen by a corporate centre comprising 6 directors, 3 of whom are non-executive.

The arable side of the business, she said, which is fully underpinned by technical, marketing, financial and administration support, are responsible for 16,000 acres, either owned or tenanted by the company, or farmed for clients under a farm management agreement. The land grows a variety of crops including cereals, oilseed rape, vining peas, sugar beet, potatoes, and onions.

The pig 18 units, which include the UK’s largest and most environmentally conscious pig genetics base, has 7,800 breeding sows producing 150,000 breeding and slaughter pigs annually sustained by a sound research base dedicated to customer service, veterinary health monitoring and technical support.

Other visits on the 5 day itinerary included a unit where three brothers -who had previously owned 100,000 acres in Russia –now farmed 2,600 acres running a dairy herd of 900 pedigree Holsteins with an annual lactation yield of 9,600kgs, several other dairy farms, a cheese plant and a number of livestock breeders including a 2,000 head beef unit dedicated to using stabilizer bulls and finishing all stock at grass.

Will Prichard presented some fascinating details of the World’s first proto- type commercial robotic milking rotary presently being unveiled by the Swedish dairy equipment company, de Laval, at an al grass pilot farm with 1,300 cows in Tasmania.

The technology has been developed by the FutureDairy project in Australia, a collaboration between de Laval, Dairy Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of Sydney. Featuring five robots, the rotary has a capacity to milk up to 90 cows per hour, and is based on 24 -unit internal, herringbone rotary that enables the robots to reach the cow from the side. With the use of laser technology, the robots focus red light to determine the location of the cow’s teats, clean them and attach the cups.

The first two robots clean and prepare the teats for milking, the second two attach the cups to the teats, and the last robot sprays the teats to disinfect them before the cows leave the platform.

Design of the dairy yard plays an important role in the AMR’s operation – the yards have a series of smaller yards, divided by automatic gates known as smart selection gates (SSGs), which can guide cows in two or three different paths after the milking.

Will assured his audience that the cows wear automatic identification collars or transponders, and when the cows approach the SSG, the system reads the transponder and guides the cow in the direction set in the DELPRO herd management software.

Mrs Smith was warmly thanked for ensuring another successful year for the Society which remained, by far, the largest in Wales and also, last month, hosting –for the first time in Wales -a meeting of the British Grassland Society.

Elected chairman for the coming year was Meurig S Harries with Peter Smith as vice –chairman. The secretary, Cheryl Codd, and treasurer, Dyfrig Davies, were re-elected. Delegates reappointed were Neil Perkins (British Grassland Society) and Jeff Evans (to the Welsh Federation of which he is current chairman).

Awards: Member of the Year, 2013 –Roger Jones, Trenichol, Grassland –Will Prichard, Escalwen and Gerwyn Williams, Swmbarch, New leys – Jonathan and Christopher James, Trefaner (at Trevigan), Clamp Silage –Tim and William James, Farthing’s Hook, Round bales, Roger Jones, Milk production, Roger Ridgway, Clovers and Jeff Evans, Broadmoor.

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Crime

Pembrokeshire fisherman strangled partner’s mother in front of child

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A PEMBROKESHIRE fisherman, Jake Bowman-Davies, 26, of Lighthouse Drive, Llanstadwell, has been handed a suspended prison sentence after strangling his partner’s mother in a terrifying incident witnessed by a young child, Swansea Crown Court heard on Wednesday (Jul 24).

The court was told that the incident occurred on December 17 last year. The victim had been asleep when she received a frantic phone call from her daughter around 1am. She could hear her daughter shouting and screaming, with Bowman-Davies audibly in the background. Concerned, she went to the nearby property to intervene, only to find the front door ajar and Bowman-Davies in a heated argument with her daughter inside.

Prosecution barrister Georgia Donohue described Bowman-Davies’s behaviour as “erratic and loud.” When the victim asked him to leave, he screamed in her face before grabbing her throat and restricting her ability to breathe. Miss Donohue added that the victim “felt genuine fear that he was not going to let go.”

Bowman-Davies’s partner and a young child were present during the assault. After releasing his grip, Bowman-Davies was ushered out of the house but retaliated by spraying alcohol over the victim and remained outside for another 10 minutes before police arrived and arrested him.

In a statement read in court, the victim expressed fear for her daughter and family following the incident.

Defence barrister David Singh argued that Bowman-Davies, who works at sea and tends to “binge-drink” when off work, is “a young man who clearly needs intervention.”

Judge Huw Rees addressed Bowman-Davies, emphasizing the lasting impact of such violence on children. “No child should see violence between adults of this kind. It’s seared into their subconscious and that could damage them irreparably,” he said. The judge warned Bowman-Davies of severe consequences for any future breaches of court orders.

Bowman-Davies, who pleaded guilty to intentional strangulation, received a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He is required to complete a 25-day rehabilitation activity and 120 hours of unpaid work. Additionally, he was issued a restraining order, prohibiting contact with his victim for three years.

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Eluned Morgan appointed new Leader of Welsh Labour

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ELUNED MORGAN MS has been appointed the new leader of Welsh Labour.

Morgan has served as Welsh Labour MS for Mid and West Wales since 2016 and has delivered for the people of Wales as both a Welsh Government Minister and Cabinet Secretary since 2017.

She will now go forward as Welsh Labour’s nominee to become the first female First Minister of Wales, and Labour’s first female head of state in the UK.

Born in Cardiff, Morgan was a founding member of the Yes for Wales cross-party group which campaigned for the then Welsh Assembly to be established.

Eluned Morgan MS, Leader of Welsh Labour, said: “I am truly honoured to become the first woman to lead Welsh Labour and to be put forward as our party’s nominee to become the next First Minister of Wales.

“At this pivotal time for our country, strength, stability, and unity will be my guiding principles. I want to ensure that everyone in Wales has the opportunity and ability to fulfil their potential.

“Huw Irranca-Davies and I stood proudly as a partnership, and we are delighted to have received the overwhelming support of Welsh Labour MS’ and support from across Wales and the wider Labour movement.

“When we pledged unity, we meant it – and that is how we will lead. Working with colleagues across the Senedd and standing shoulder to shoulder with Keir Starmer’s UK Labour Government, my focus will be on improving the things that matter most for everyone in our great country.

“Through my leadership, Wales – and what is best for our country – will always come above all else.”

Keir Starmer MP, Prime Minister and Leader of the UK Labour Party, commenting on the election of Eluned Morgan as Welsh Labour Leader, said:

“Eluned’s election as Welsh Labour Leader and candidacy for First Minister is fantastic news for Wales and for the Labour Party. Eluned brings with her a wealth of experience and track-record of delivery, and as the first woman to lead Welsh Labour, she is already making history.

“Just three weeks ago, people across Wales voted overwhelmingly for a changed Labour Party to lead a government in Westminster. We have a been given a strong mandate to deliver change for working people, and I look forward to working hand-in-hand with Eluned to deliver on our promises to Wales and Britain.”

Jo Stevens MP, Labour’s Secretary of State for Wales, said: “Eluned will be a fantastic leader of Welsh Labour and candidate for First Minister, bringing her many years of experience on the front line of politics to the important task of delivering for people across Wales.

“I am particularly pleased that Eluned has been overwhelmingly backed by the Senedd Labour Group.

“I look forward to working closely with Eluned at pace, to implement the UK government’s plans to address the priorities of people across Wales, which received resounding support at the General Election.”

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Crime

Stalking victim in plea for indefinite restraining order

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A STALKING victim has made an impassioned plea before a judge sitting at Haverfordwest magistrates court to impose an indefinite restraining order on the man who has already served a custodial sentence for stalking her.

Despite serving 21 weeks in custody following his conviction for stalking in 2023, Christopher Marsh, 48, continued to breach the court-imposed restraining order which prevented him from contacting the victim.

This week he pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching the restraining order by once again contacting the victim on social media on November 27, 2023 and sending her a friend request.

In a victim impact statement that was read out to District Judge Mark Layton sitting at Haverfordwest magistrates, the woman said that since his release from prison, she has grown increasingly fearful for her safety.

“I find myself going out less, and that night, when I was sitting at home, he sent me a friend request which made me panic that I was still in his thoughts.

“I just want him to leave me alone and get on with his life.”

The victim requested an indefinite restraining order which prevents Marsh, of Grove Court, St Florence, from having any form of contact with her for the rest of his life.

After considering the facts, Judge Layton granted her request. Marsh was also prevented from entering Shrinkle Haven, South Beach in Tenby and Penally Beach between certain times of day. He has also been prevented from approaching the victim’s home address in Tenby and from contacting her via any form of communication device. He was sentenced to 26 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months and was ordered to pay a £154 court surcharge and £85 costs.

“You really have to make every effort to ensure that you don’t come before this court again,” said Judge Mark Layton when imposing sentence.

“Otherwise you’ll end up serving 26 weeks in prison.”

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