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Farm safety messages reinforced during young farmers’ competition



A NATIONAL competition to improve farm safety awareness among young farmers has been won by members of Pembrokeshire County Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs for the 10th time since the competition started in 2002.

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Farm Machinery Skills competition, sponsored by KRAMP, was held a week before Farm Safety Week (17-21 July).

The competition challenges young farmers to demonstrate their knowledge of farm machinery and its safe operation. It also tests first aid skills by creating a realistic farm accident that team members must respond to during the competition.

The winning Pembrokeshire team fought off six other county teams in the final to win a KRAMP toolkit each and a JCB VIP hospitality tour round the world headquarters in Staffordshire, along with the much-coveted trophy.

The team, made up of Caryl Bevan, Berwyn Warlow, Rhys Bevan and William Lewis, are all from Llys Y Fran YFC and due to their involvement in farming prioritise this competition above others.

Rhys Bevan, who has been on the winning team five times, said: “We do take it seriously. As well as the first aid, we all have an interest in farm machinery and it’s the only health and safety competition that we [YFC] have that could save your life.”

Teammate Caryl Bevan is in her final year of YFC and has been part of the winning team on six previous occasions at the national final. Former members support the team and she said that would continue as new people joined to try to hold on to Pembrokeshire’s winning title.

Caryl said: “Highlighting farm safety is important for the club. Teaching new skills, first aid especially, and making sure we practice what we preach.”

Another member of the team Will Lewis also won an individual trophy for his ATV Handling Skills.

Dave Johns from Arley Medical Services creates the realistic farm accidents, which are based on real-life examples, using actors from the Casualties Union.

Dave said: “It is a really important competition as we know farms have a large number of accidents. As a paramedic I see those myself, so anything we can do to make sure people are supported is good.

“We usually see a high standard of entrants but there are always some learning opportunities from the competition. It makes people think about how they would deal with the situation on the farm.

“Some tips to take away would be to make sure they know what’s in their first aid kit and that they have it with them – as it’s not much use back in the shed somewhere!

“People do learn from the competition as we do see improvements when the same team is back in the final. There has been a lot of new teams this year at the national final and I think they have learnt quite a lot from it.”

Competition Sponsors Kramp recognise the importance of teaching young people farm safety skills.

Des Boyd, Kramp’s Commercial Director, said: “Kramp is always looking for ways to support the next generation of farmers and we’re thrilled to have sponsored the Farm Machinery Skills competition for the last two years!

“We’re constantly trying to champion safety at Kramp as we know how important it is, especially in the agricultural industry. We’re proud to be a part of the young farmers’ safety journey and hope we can continue to support them with their farming journey in the future.”

The competition comes at a critical time for the industry with figures from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) showing farming continues to have the poorest safety record of any occupation in Great Britain.

It was also held on the eve of the Farm Safety Foundation’s 11th Farm Safety Week. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the impacts of farm accidents on the industry and community and to promote the importance of farming safely.

NFYFC Chair Rosie Bennett said:

“This competition, which is held just ahead of Farm Safety Week, is one of the most important in our national programme as it helps reinforce safety messages and could save lives.

“NFYFC also has a Farm Safety training module that was developed in conjunction with The Farm Safety Foundation, and we encourage all our clubs to take part in this training too. As the next generation of farmers, we need to do all we can to improve agriculture’s safety record.”

All members of a YFC can take part in NFYFC’s Farm Safety training, which focuses on raising awareness of farm safety, shows how to prevent accidents and what to do if there is one.

NFYFC’s Farm Machinery Skills competition final is held during NFYFC’s annual Competitions Day in Staffordshire. It is hosted alongside 13 other competitions where members showcase a range of skills from fence erecting to dancing.

CFMOTO UK, JCB, Rea Valley Tractors, RJ ATV all supported the Farm Machinery Skills competition by providing machinery.

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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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