Farmer Focus: Good to be back at the Royal Welsh Show after 3 long years

At the end of July, we and many other families enjoyed a few days at the Royal Welsh Show. After three long, absent years, everybody there was very pleased to be back.

As usual during the show week, we enjoyed some glorious weather, including the hottest day ever in the UK, and the showground felt like walking in an oven.

The shaded areas were in demand, and drinking water was a continuous job.

See also: Farmers Weekly Awards 2022: Sheep Farmer of Year finalists

About the author

Dafydd Parry Jones
Dafydd Parry Jones and wife Glenys, Machynlleth, Powys, run a closed flock of 750 Texel and Aberfield cross ewes and 70 Hereford cross sucklers cows on 180ha. Their upland organic system uses Hereford bulls, Charollais terminal sires and red clover silage, multispecies leys and rotational grazing.
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In seminars organised by farming unions, the Cardiff politicians were defending their plans to introduce payments for farmers based on their environmental work.

As they explained how this would be our contribution to mitigating climate change, many in the audience were pointing out the reality of the situation – that food security should be the priority at a time of such uncertainty globally.

The Welsh government has set out plans to introduce 10% tree cover on all holdings making a claim for public money. It’s been a controversial proposal.

Planting trees on productive, fertile land is something we are very uncomfortable with, but on that extremely hot day, many of our livestock were pleased to take advantage of the shade provided by trees.

The Royal Welsh Show will be experiencing many changes to the management team, leading us forward towards next year’s show.

The new chief executive, Aled Rhys Jones, a farmer’s son from the uplands of Carmarthen, will take over in September.

Over the past five years I’ve been fortunate to be a member of the board of management, one of two representing members in Montgomery.

Before the pandemic it used to be a monthly trip to the showground to attend meetings. Over the past two years we’ve been relying on video calls.

The board comprises individuals providing various skills, from highly successful agribusinesses to working farmers such as myself.

The next meeting in September will be a chance to analyse the show week, in what has been a challenging event to organise.

After that, in the new post-Brexit and Covid world, many of us will be turning our attention to the Eisteddfod in Tregaron, a Welsh culture event that continues to travel to various locations throughout Wales.

Another taste of life getting back to normal.