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“There aren’t enough hours in the day” for entrepreneurial young Pembrokeshire dairy farmer Scott Robinson

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“I WOULD not be where I am today if it were not for Farming Connect,” says Pembrokeshire dairy farmer Scott Robinson.

Scott, 25, is ambitious, focused and also very busy! He works alongside his parents at the family farm near Clynderwen and runs his own successful milk-vending machine enterprise.

He says he hasn’t yet found the route to achieving the perfect work/life balance – ‘there aren’t enough hours in the day’ – but, like everything else he tackles, he’s working on it! 

After attending Hartpury College to study an extended diploma in agriculture, Scott travelled around New Zealand to get experience of working on large-scale dairy units.

“It was an eye-opener – if their workers hadn’t finished their day by 5pm, they felt they were getting something wrong, we could learn from that here in Wales too!”

Scott grew up on the council-owned Pembrokeshire farm which has been tenanted by his parents for almost 30 years. They currently milk 140 Holstein Friesian cows twice daily and graze them on 200 acres of pasture and silage.  

The family first accessed Farming Connect’s Advisory Service in 2019.  Soil sampling and nutrient management planning advice led to more targeted use of nitrogen fertilisers on fields with high indices with slurry elsewhere.

“This has saved us time and money so we’ll now reassess this every three to four years,” says Scott.

Through the Advisory Service, they also applied for an infrastructure report and will shortly start work on a new slurry lagoon which will ensure the farm meets the new agri-pollution requirements. This will allow for more efficient use of farm nutrients and enable the family to transition to a flying herd, buying in all replacement heifers. The farm infrastructure report was submitted as part of the planning application providing the information required for Natural Resources Wales to approve the proposal.

Two years ago, urged on by his Farming Connect mentor Lilwen Joynson, Scott started researching the costs and viability of setting up a new milk vending machine business at the farm. He successfully applied for a substantial loan which enabled him to convert one of the farm outbuildings and invest in the necessary equipment.  He also set up a formal agreement with his parents to purchase some of their milk, the remainder of which is sold on contract to a major dairy wholesale company.

Scott says that tapping into a range of Farming Connect support services has not only given him new skills, but also increased his network of similarly pro-active farmers all keen to share their experiences of innovative or more efficient ways of working.

Scott and his parents have at various times been members of a local Farming Connect dairy discussion group- which meets quarterly to discuss issues such as benchmarking, nutrient management planning and grazing strategies as well as animal health and performance.

A former participant of the Agri Academy, which he says was a massive boost to his self-confidence, Scott has also been part of Farming Connect’s Prosper to Pasture basic programme to have a better understanding of pasture management. The family have also accessed sector-specific guidance on topics including planning, nutrient management, slurry storage, grassland and crop management. Scott also joined a local Agrisgôp set up especially for dairy farmers involved with milk-vending enterprises, which included those just thinking of starting up as well as fully-fledged operators.

“It was hugely helpful to share guidance on good suppliers, compare costs and swap contacts – I found sharing our experiences a big support.”

The group was led by Lilwen Joynson, who had met Scott at the beginning of his entrepreneurial ‘journey’ in her role as his mentor.  

Scott says Lilwen’s support was the catalyst which encouraged the whole family to talk openly ‘around the kitchen table’ about their hopes for the future.

“By facilitating our discussions, we soon had a clear sense of direction and her insistence that we each drew up a detailed action plan and deadlines after every meeting had a huge impact on both short and long-term ambitions for the future direction of the farm.  

“Farming Connect has helped me learn more about innovation, current best practice and more efficient ways of working, all critical for farmers at a time we need to be more aware of climate change and protecting the environment.

“Lilwen encouraged us all to think of the wider implications and convinced me and my parents that we should investigate and capitalise on every opportunity to future proof both the farm and the milk vending business. 

“I’ve got an expanding customer-base and I’m optimistic that within three years, when I hope to have paid off my loan, all profits from the milk vending side will be going straight into my pocket – that’s a nice thought to keep me working hard!”

Scott has also undertaken Farming Connect training courses including social media training and a marketing course which help him promote the milk vending enterprise.

“It makes good commercial sense to take advantage of all the support and guidance available, and with Farming Connect services either fully funded or subsidised by up to 80%, I’d advise anyone else to pick up the phone to their local development officer today.”

Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and financed by Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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Business

How Printing Workflow Software Can Transform Lifestyle Content Creation

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In today’s fast-paced world of creating lifestyle content, it’s essential to stay organized and efficient. From coordinating photo shoots to editing and printing top-notch images, the process can feel overwhelming. That’s where printing workflow software steps in. In this blog, we’ll delve into how this cutting-edge technology can revolutionize your lifestyle content creation journey.

Enhancing Photo Shoot Coordination

Capturing the essence of a lifestyle demands well-executed photoshoots. With printing workflow software, you can seamlessly manage crew schedules, locations, props, and shot lists. This digital platform serves as a hub for team communication, minimizing errors and misunderstandings. All team members have real-time access to information, fostering collaboration and ensuring a more seamless photoshoot experience.

Improving Editing Efficiency

Post-production editing is crucial in bringing your lifestyle content to fruition. Yet edits can easily become overwhelming and time-consuming without management. By leveraging printing software capabilities, editors can streamline their tasks effortlessly. This technology offers user-friendly tools for handling large image volumes, allowing editors to concentrate on enhancing each photo’s quality rather than getting bogged down by administrative duties.

Fostering Collaboration Among Teams

Creating lifestyle content involves teams working together toward a shared objective, including photographers, writers, editors, stylists, and designers. Utilizing workflow software streamlines collaboration among these teams by offering a platform for sharing files and exchanging feedback. By using shared folders and timed commenting features within the software, team members can effectively communicate their ideas or needed revisions, saving time and ensuring everyone is aligned.

Maintaining Brand Consistency

Establishing a brand identity necessitates consistency across all platforms; however, achieving coherence across diverse media formats can be challenging without the right systems in place. Workflow software aids in upholding consistency by enabling users to develop and distribute templates for print designs like brochures, catalogs, and promotional materials. Through these templates, lifestyle brands can uphold a consistent identity across various marketing channels, resulting in a unified brand image.

Simplified High-quality Printing

Producing high-quality printed materials is crucial for creating lifestyle content. Navigating the complexities of printing procedures can pose challenges without tools such as print management software. With this software tailored for printing tasks, you can streamline the printing process by automating tasks such as color adjustments and resizing. This program also includes tools for preparing images for printing, which helps enhance the quality of prints and reduce errors. Lifestyle content creators can utilize this technology to save time and consistently deliver high-quality prints to their audience.

Streamlined File Organization

Managing a large volume of files related to lifestyle content creation can be challenging. Printing workflow software simplifies file organization by creating a repository for all images, documents, and assets. This system allows users to categorize and tag files for access, eliminating the hassle of searching through folders or dealing with unhelpful file names. Keeping everything in one place improves efficiency, saves time, and ensures files are always accessible.

Personalized Automation Options

Each lifestyle content creator has a unique approach to producing content. Printing workflow software recognizes this diversity and offers automation features. Users can set up tasks, milestones, and deadlines within the software to align with their individual workflow preferences. By automating tasks such as file conversions or proofing reviews, creators can allocate time for creativity and innovation. Customizable automation ensures effectiveness while accommodating the changing requirements of lifestyle content creation.

Enhancing Efficiency from Idea Generation to Publishing

Creating top-notch lifestyle content involves stages from brainstorming ideas to publishing. Managing these stages efficiently can be quite daunting without the right tools. Print workflow software comes in handy with its project management functionalities that seamlessly guide you from idea generation to publishing. It fosters smooth communication among team members throughout the process, ensuring no details are overlooked, and goals are achieved effectively. The transparency offered by platforms lets you monitor progress in time, easily spot bottlenecks, and make necessary adjustments as needed.

In Summary

To sum up, print workflow software serves as an asset for lifestyle content creators seeking efficiency and consistency in their endeavors. From coordinating photoshoots to streamlining editing tasks and maintaining brand uniformity across channels, this technology offers a plethora of advantages. By leveraging its capabilities, lifestyle content creators can concentrate on their work while delivering content that resonates with their audience, ultimately paving the way for success in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

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Saundersfoot centre site redevelopment scheme withdrawn

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PLANS for the redevelopment of an ‘eyesore’ piece of land in the centre of Saundersfoot, which the local community council feared would “set a precedence for future overdevelopment,” have been withdrawn.

The proposals for the vacant brownfield site between the rear of the former Cambrian Hotel building and the rear of the town houses in Milford Terrace were to create 24 new homes and a 445 square foot commercial unit space fronting on to Milford Street.

Its new developers said it would ‘fill the void’ and ‘re-establish a strong streetscape’.

An application to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park planners, by Ventura Properties (Saundersfoot) said it would feature one, two, three and four-bed town houses and apartments.

The site, currently used for informal car parking, is a mix of gravel and tarmac finished land that includes a small access road to the rear of the Cambrian Hotel, which would be maintained the applicants have said.

The proposal sought to complete the mixed development of houses, apartments, commercial space and the redevelopment of the Cambrian Hotel which was granted permission in 2012.

Although the previous developer delivered the town houses and alterations to the Cambrian Hotel, the remainder of the approved development of 16 residential dwellings was not completed.

The previous developer has sold the site to the current applicants on that basis.

The developers have previously stated: “Approximately half of the site remains undeveloped, under-utilised and is a clear ‘gap’ that contributes negatively to the amenity of the local centre. The plot stands vacant (brownfield), previously used as the car park for the old Cambrian Hotel and remains somewhat of an eyesore.

“This proposal seeks to fill the void left along the southern edge of Milford Street. It proposes commercial units to the ground floor and apartments over on the prominent local centre facing street frontage.”

A mix of town houses and apartments was proposed to the heart of the site.

However, concerns were raised by Saundersfoot Community Council, which did not support the scheme.

Issues raised included the impact on the character of the village’s conservation area, road safety issues, and “even more commercial buildings being offered in a village where new business properties are empty or applications for the change of use are being made to this Planning Authority”.

It warned: “If this application were to be approved by the Planning Authority, the Saundersfoot Community Council are concerned that it would set a precedence for future overdevelopment, which does not preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of a historic village within a conservation area.

“Saundersfoot Community Council does not support this planning application and requests that the planning authority consider refusal of such.”

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Business

Former Pembroke Barclays to become shopfront and residential apartments

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Plans to convert a former Barclays Bank branch on Pembroke’s Main Street to retail and residential apartments have been given the go-ahead.

Mr Zouras, through agent RPC Design & Architecture Ltd, sought permission from Pembrokeshire County Council for a change of use and conversion of the former Grade-II-listed bank at 35 Main Street to retail on the ground floor and residential apartments at the rear ground, first and second floors.

The branch closed in July 2019, the same year the bank’s Narberth and Milford Haven branches closed.

A supporting heritage statement said: “The three-storey building is currently vacant and was a former bank on the ground floor. The first floor was former staff rooms and male/female toilets. The second floor was used as storage. There is an existing outdoor paved area and private, off-road car parking to the rear for four to six cars.  The building is Grade II listed; designated in 2005.”

CADW’s listing says: “…earlier C19 terraced house, front remodelled in 1925 for Barclays Bank to plans by J. H. Morgan of Carmarthen. The building was then called Bank House, but it is not known how long it had been a bank.”

An officer report says: “The ground floor shopfront is six bays wide divided by faceted pilasters of ashlar stone – a hint towards the art-deco style. Heavy fielded panel doors to the left-hand bay. Heavy classical stucco window surrounds to upper floors, the middle window has a pediment above – conventional Edwardian Bank detail, old fashioned for the 1920s.”

The listed building application was conditionally approved by county planners.

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