5 minutes with Welsh young farmer Tom Parry

Welcome to “5 minutes with”, our  regular feature where we get to know one of Britain’s brightest and best farmers under the age of 30.

These brilliant young people are the future of the agriculture industry and we want to bring their lives, businesses, ideas and achievements to the fore.

By celebrating our young farmers and promoting what they do, we hope to generate even more interest in farming from younger age groups and help make sure they get all the support they need to thrive in the future.

See also: How a sheep farmer increased output by £10 a ewe

This time we’re getting to know Welsh beef, sheep and poultry farmer Tom Parry.

What’s your name and how old are you?

My name is Tom Parry and I am 23 years old.

Where do you come from?

Brecon in mid-Wales.

Where can people follow you on social media?

My Instagram name is @thomasparry19 – I upload all my farming pictures on here. Check it out for my up to date farming photography.

I have two business pages on Facebook – Plas Poultry, where I sell day old chicks and pullets; and Anod Blondes which showcases my families’ pedigree Blonde herd.

Are you a member of a Young Farmers Club?

I am not a member of any Young Farmers Club. If I’m not hatching eggs, I’m looking after my flock of Texels and feeding the cows.

What sort of farm do you live/work on?

I live and work on a beef and sheep farm in the Brecon Beacons. It consists mainly of commercial Texel cross Welsh Mule ewes, a suckler herd as well as the pedigree Blondes.

What do you get up to on the farm?

I spend most of my time working with sheep – as most of you know sheep always need tending to for one reason or another. However, like most farmers, I am always looking for more ways to diversify to create a more stable future in today’s economic climate.

What do you get up to when you’re not farming?

I spend time with my fiancée, Angharad, and my Jack Russell Celyn. I also spend a lot of time brainstorming new ideas to bring to the farm.

What’s in your lunchbox?

Half of the local Morrisons supermarket – British only, of course.

What’s the best bit about farming?

Seeing the result of all the hard work, which is ultimately the main goal for me. There isn’t anything more rewarding in agriculture than a successful sale of animals.

My favourite time of year is March, which brings lambing. Crazy I know, but it’s great to see the product of carefully selected breeding stock. 

Tom Parry with sheep

What’s the most frustrating bit about farming?

Producing high-quality animals and not receiving enough money for them, making areas of agriculture unviable.  

Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

I would like to be running a successful farm business that is profitable without direct payment from the government. This will mean it can sustain itself during tough times. Wishful thinking, wouldn’t you say?

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?

Jeremy Corbyn. I will let you think of the reasons why.

Tom Parry with cattle

What makes you laugh?

When people say, “Oh you’re a farmer, you must be rolling in it”. I wish.

What makes you angry?

The weather. I’m sure this is a common feeling among farmers. That and the fact that it seems a sheep’s life ambition is to kill itself.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?

Winning the senior champion title at the Worcester Blonde Society Sale back in April with Anod Lloyd, our home-bred Blonde Bull. This was our first time selling pedigree bulls and it couldn’t have gone better.

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What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My dad told me: “You only get out what you put in”. This couldn’t be more true. Hard work often pays off.

When you’re in the tractor cab, what’s your top tune, podcast or audiobook?

I always listen to Radio 1. It’s probably why I can’t hear for several hours after finishing a job.

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would spend the money on?

I’ve thought about this a million times. If I won the lottery I would probably buy more land and more sheep. Am I mad?

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing UK farming today?

The dreaded word – Brexit. If we can come out with a good deal for British agriculture it could be good, but as of yet there is no element of certainty.

Tell us something about you that not many people know.

When I am not farming, I am a part time waiter – it’s one way of buying more sheep.

If you are a UK farmer under the age of 30 or would like to nominate somebody for this feature, please email community editor Oli Hill with your name, age and a brief explanation what you do.

Share your harvest photos and videos

Harvest is one of the most hectic and exciting times of year on the farm. Capture your harvest 2020 on camera and share photos and videos with us.

We want to see cool combine shots, mad weather photos and drone videos. We’ll pick our favourites to share in the magazine, on FWi.co.uk and on social media.

Enter now