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North Pembrokeshire farmers top the FWGS Milk Hygiene Award on first time of entering



THIS year’s Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies over-all Milk Hygiene competition winners are JJ Peters & Son, Sunnyhill, Crundale, Haverfordwest, and this on their first time of entering the competition.

The competition, sponsored by Diversey is becoming a very sought after award, and this year’s competition was no exception. The judges John Griffiths, Coleg Sir Gar/Gelli Aur; and Michaela Rowlands, Diversey (Industry sponsors) both agreed that Sunnyhill are very worthy winners.

Initially they were presented with the Small producer award (up to one million litres per year) and then went on to win the main category for over-all Welsh winners.

The Large producer above 1million litres per year award goes to Jeff Evans, Broadmoor Farm, Wolfscastle; and the Most improved producer award goes to John Young Farms- Neuadd Farm- Abergavenny, members of Monmouth Grassland Society.

Competition Judges presented the following notes on each farm:

Overall Winner and Small herd category – JJ Peters & Son, Sunnyhill , Crundale, Haverfordwest

115 cow organic, closed herd. Mr Peters said they are the only organic dairy farm in Pembrokeshire. They set up selling milk through a Milk Vending Machine on the farm in August 2021 which included adding a pasteurising unit.

Mr & Mrs Peters are helped by their daughter Annie who is currently a Student at Gelli Aur College. She spends every spare minute she’s not in college or studying helping on the farm with managing the herd and processing the milk, as well as dealing with all of the social media marketing enquiries.

Currently less than 5% of the milk produced is sold through the vending machine. They also feed whole milk to rear the calves as powdered organic milk was prohibitively expensive. The rest of the milk goes to OMSCo.

They AI all cows- no bull on farm. Holstein type cows housed in cubicles over winter and out to grass the rest of the year. All year round calving & milk recording monthly. Average 7500lt/lactation. Currently under bTB restrictions.

Cluster flush system in the Herringbone 10/10 parlour with pre-milking teat dipping & post spraying with Deosan products.

Winner in the large producer above 1million litres category:  Jeff Evans, Broadmoor Farm, Wolfscastle, Haverfordwest

220 cow closed herd milked through a Herringbone parlour. Milks for 10 months then dries off whole herd (Jan & Feb) anything that falls outside this window is sold/culled.

The farm does its own AI using sexed semen & has a beef bull to sweep up. Mr Evans mostly does all of the milking himself with the occasional relief milker coming in.

No cluster flush system- but does use pre-milking & post milking teat dipping with Deosan products- which he says has contributed greatly to reduced TBC & SCC & cows are happier with softer, not cracked teats.

Milk goes to First Milk for cheese. Cow type are Friesian with a bit of Jersey. Grass based, low input system. Av 5500lt /lactation.

Old buildings- cubicle housing. Cows turned out at calving in March.  Currently under bTB restrictions. Jeff does not milk record but tests for Johnes 4 times a year.

Most Improved: John Young Farms- Neuadd Farm Abergavenny (Comparing the Quality of the first 6 months production against the last 6 months of the Quota year):

240 cow closed herd, milked through an unusual Trigon parlour (7 x 3). Block calving system, using Genus ABS RMS package for heat detection and serving cows. Average yield is around 9,500lt. Large Holstein type cows. Cows are housed in winter in wooden cubicles with sand bedding which Ben Young says contributed to his lower SCC & TCB.   The farm is rented.  Currently free of BTB.

FWGS secretary Charlie Morgan said celebrating the achievements of the very best in Welsh farming would inspire others to raise the bar for the whole industry.  “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the judges who had travelled to visit the competitors to see these farms first hand. The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted greatly but our farmers continue to produce at very high standards’’.

Margaret Peters from JJ Peters and Sons said:

“We are delighted to have won the award in our first year of entering! … Six months ago, we opened a milk vending machine on our farm yard, selling our pasteurised organic milk to the general public.  We are very proud on winning this award, which will obviously be excellent publicity to support and promote the quality of our milk”.  

For further details on the enterprise you can follow them on Facebook / Instagram – @sunnyhillfarmdairy.

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Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society in search for county’s top progressive farmers



IF you farm in Pembrokeshire and can demonstrate your farm’s use of the latest technological methods to promote progressive, sustainable agriculture then the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society encourage you to enter the prestigious Baron de Rutzen Award.

Adam Thorne, Pembrokeshire County Show President, said, “We are looking for local Pembrokeshire farmers, under the age of 45, who can demonstrate their farm’s use of the latest technological methods to promote progressive, sustainable agriculture. They also need to show consideration for the environment and habitat sensitivity on their farm as well as present an aesthetically pleasing example of farming in the county. The competition welcomes all livestock and arable sectors to take part.”

Last year’s winners of the Award were Mark and Caroline Davies of Little Newcastle, Haverfordwest. They milk 230 pedigree Holsteins through a fully automated system. They rear their own replacements and also have a small beef enterprise. The farm is all grassland and they follow a strict reseeding and liming policy to optimise the yield from their multi-cut silage system. The couple place significant emphasis on animal health, husbandry and breeding to maximise the efficiency of their system. 

Baron John Fredrick De Rutzen was President of Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society in 1936 and the Baron de Rutzen Trophy was produced in his memory. The third Baron served in the Welsh Guards and tragically died, aged 36, in 1944.   

This year’s entrants must be fully practising farmers within the county of Pembrokeshire and were under the age of 45 years on 1 January 2024. Entries can either be by nomination or direct application online on the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society website. Click here to apply:  Baron de Rutzen Award | Pembrokeshire County Show | Pembs Agricultural Society (

The closing date for nominations and applications is at noon on Wednesday, 29 May 2024.

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Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society elect new president



ARABLE and beef farmer, Adam Thorne, has been unanimously elected to become the new President of Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society for the year ahead. Adam is the third generation of his family to hold the position.

During the Annual General Meeting of Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society, held last week on the Pembrokeshire Showground, Mr Tim John and his wife Margaret John were also voted in as Presidents elect.

Adam Thorne has had a long association with Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society. After visiting the show as a toddler, then helping show the family’s pedigree Herefords, his uncle got him into helping him with stewarding in his early teens. From there he progressed to being a Steward with his own section, Commercial Cattle, and then also the Butcher’s Lambs section.

From stewarding, Adam became involved with committee work, starting as an Executive and then on to the former Finance and General Purposes Committee. He has been Chairman of the Estates Committee for 12 years and is now a Board member and a Trustee.

Adam said, “I am proud of my long association with Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society. I am the third generation to now be President, following my late grandfather, Walter Thorne, my father, Robert Thorne and more recently my uncle, George Thorne. I am looking forward to my year in the prestigious position.”

Away from his work with the society, Adam runs the family’s arable and beef farm in Robeston West, Milford Haven. He has been heavily involved with Tiers Cross YFC from an early age, having been Club Secretary twice and Chairman. He has also sat on Pembrokeshire County YFC Committees and the Wales YFC Rural Affairs Committee. 

The 2024 Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society officeholders, announced at the AGM, include Miss Ffion Edwards who was awarded the role of Ambassador at last year’s show. Ffion, a nurse from Maenclochog, has enjoyed many years of attending the county show and believes that there are so many good elements to it. Ffion has been a member of Llysyfran YFC for 15 years and enjoys every aspect of young farmers – trying new experiences, competing and travelling to name a few. Mrs Nicola Owen was also elected as the Honorary Treasurer.   

Brian Jones, the outgoing Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society President, took the opportunity to thank everyone who had helped and supported him throughout his presidency. During his year as President, Brian and his wife Helen, raised a tremendous amount of money for various charities including the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society, RABI, Tir Dewi and the DPJ Foundation. Brian also gave his assurances that Castell Howell will continue to sponsor the Food Hall for future years.

Pembrokeshire County Show, the largest county agricultural show in Wales, will be held over two days again this summer on 14 and 15 August. Everyone is invited to attend the celebration of rural life in the county.

Pictured (left to right): Ffion Edwards the Ambassador for 2024; Adam Thorne, President; Margaret and Tim John, the Presidents Elect.

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£1,000 bursary award available to Pembrokeshire agricultural students



PEMBROKESHIRE Agricultural Society’s £1,000 Bursary Award is now open for applications from students studying agriculture, veterinary science, agricultural engineering, food technology, forestry or other subjects allied to agriculture.

The Student Bursary Award 2024 is available to students, from Pembrokeshire, who are currently studying or have been accepted to start their studies. They can apply for this financial support to assist with their chosen college or career path.

Last year’s winner of the award was Lottie Wilson from Hayscastle. Lottie was studying agriculture at the University of Nottingham when she applied for the bursary. When she is at home she is a general dairy farm worker as well as a lambing hand and a calving beef herd assistant. In 2021 she was the top agriculture student at Hartpury College.

Robert James, Chairman of the Society’s Bursary Committee said, “I would urge all Pembrokeshire students who study subjects that are clearly aligned to agriculture to apply for this bursary as it won’t only assist with your studies but will also give you great experiences such as undertaking an interview which is a key employment skill. It will also assist in your future career within the agriculture industry.”

“A panel of independent judges will draw up a short list of candidates who will be interviewed and the winning candidate will be asked to give a short presentation at a future meeting of the society’s show council.

“The standard of applications has always been exceptional which gives a lot of heart that there are a lot of very talented young people in our community. We are very much looking forward to receiving applications for this year’s bursary and hearing from the younger generation.”  

Qualifying students must not have won the student bursary on a previous occasion, the applicant must be studying or has been accepted to study agriculture or allied subjects at a UK college or university at A-Level or higher and the applicant’s family home must be in Pembrokeshire.

The bursary is tax free and will be awarded to the student who, in the opinion of the panel of judges, has submitted the best dissertation on how the bursary will assist them to complete their course of study.

Further details and the entry form can be found online: Student Bursary Award | Pembrokeshire County Show | Pembs Agricultural Society (  or by calling the show office: 01437 764331. The closing date for applications is noon on Monday, 1 July 2024.

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