Tributes pour in for award-winning farmer Richard Tudor

The farming community is mourning the loss of a much-loved and respected award-winning farmer who has been killed in a tractor accident.

Father-of-two Richard Tudor, 45, died following the accident while working at his farm in Llanerfyl, near Welshpool, on Friday (3 April).

Mr Tudor was named Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year in 2016 after he wowed the judges with his impressive business performance.

See also: Farmers Weekly Awards 2016: Beef Farmer of the Year

The efficient management of his 290ha Welsh upland farm was singled out as a shining example of how beef enterprises can thrive, even in the toughest of climates. The judges praised him for outstanding gross margins of £704 a cow – £100 above the best Welsh upland farms on average.

In 2018, Mr Tudor completed a Nuffield scholarship in soil health and fertility in the grasslands, an essential component in improving upland beef and sheep productivity and sustainability.

The same year, he decided to sell his suckler herd and convert to dairy farming, citing Brexit as the catalyst and the “headache” of the threat of bovine TB.

“My Nuffield scholarship and Brexit have come together to make me think where I want to be in 10 years,” Mr Tudor told Farmers Weekly at the time. “We are a good grass farm and the focus has always been on turning grass into money, so with succession planning too, dairy seems like a natural progression for us.”

Mr Tudor was a highly respected farmer who was very active in his local community. He was a coach at his local young farmers’ club and was chair of the board of governors at his local primary school Ysgol Dyffryn Banw, in Llangadfan. He also wrote a monthly farming column for a community newspapers.

His death was announced on his Twitter page on Saturday (4 April) by his family, who said: “We lost an amazing man yesterday in a tragic tractor accident.

“My dad/Richard was a man that will never be forgotten and there will always be a gap in his place. He meant so much to so many people and his enthusiasm and generosity will be missed by us all.”

Following the announcement, tributes poured in for Mr Tudor from friends, family and the farming industry.

FW Livestock editor, Rhian Price, said: “I’m so terribly sorry to hear this devastating news. Richard was a fantastic farmer and was a great advocate for the industry. Thinking of you all at this incredibly difficult time.”

Beef farmer Joanne Pile, who lost her husband Steven in December, replied to the tweet, saying: “I’m so sorry to hear this heartbreaking news. Your dad came and judged us for the Farmers Weekly Awards, he was so lovely and so interesting to talk to, I’ve followed his change from beef to dairy which was incredible. Much love to you all.”

Welsh rugby international Dan Lydiate tweeted: “Thoughts are with you and your family RIP Richard.”

NFU president Minette Batters said: “I’m so desperately sorry to hear this, we all lost an amazing man. Thinking of you all xx.”

Abi Reader, a dairy farmer in Glamorganshire, South Wales, said:  “Very sorry to hear the news. He was an incredible farmer and a true gentleman. Thinking of you all.”

‘Much respected’ 

The Salers Cattle Society UK said in a statement on Facebook it was “saddened” to hear of the tragic death of Mr Tudor.

“Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time. Richard was much respected and will be sadly missed by our members and all those who were fortunate to have known him,” it added.

Mr Tudor co-owned Llysun Farm, in Llanerfyl, Montgomeryshire, Powys, with his parents Ann and Tom Tudor. He is survived by his wife Catrin and two children, Morgan, 17 and Lois, 15.

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