Royal Welsh announces new cohort for Rural Leadership Programme

THE Royal Welsh Agricultural Society is delighted to announce the new cohort of the Rural Leadership Programme for 2024-2025.

Following the selection day earlier this month, 12 successful candidates have been selected to undertake the programme.

Aimed at inspiring future leaders in agriculture, the programme will provide an action-packed course of training, mentoring, support and guidance over three intense sessions. As part of the 2024-25 programme, delegates will have an opportunity to attend one of the most prestigious agricultural events in the world, the Commonwealth Agricultural Conference.

The 12 successful candidates are (in alphabetical surname order) –

Clare Brown, Cowbridge – Agriculture and Learning Coordinator, Cenin Renewables
Clare is secretary for her local Young Farmers Club and plays an active role on the family farm managing the sheep flock and piglet rearing for direct sausage and pork sales.

Lauren Evans, Bridgend – Company Director, Fablas Ice Cream
Originally from a beef and sheep farm, Lauren embarked on her entrepreneurial journey with her mother back in 2016 in the production of ice cream, resulting in the hugely successful business, Fablas.

Catrin Elin Hughes, Lampeter – Receptionist and Administrative Assistant, Steffan Vets
Elin has undertaken a variety of roles in the agricultural industry whilst working on her family farm with her husband and children. She sits on several RWAS committees, including the Ceredigion County Advisory, and enjoys showing cattle and sheep.

Carwyn James, Pembrokeshire – General Manager, Bibby Agriculture
Raised on a 200-acre beef and sheep farm, agriculture has always been a part of Carwyn’s life. He has participated in a number of development programmes, including the Business & Innovation Agri Academy, Tesco Future Farmer Foundation, and the Future Farmers of Wales.

Cennydd Owen Jones, Ceredigion – Lecturer in Agricultural Grassland Management, Aberystwyth University
University Lecturer Cennydd leads an active lifestyle and enjoys cycling, running, and helping out on his family’s dairy farm in South Ceredigion. A busy YFC member, Cennydd has held a variety of positions at club, county, and Wales level.

William Nixon, Builth Wells – Projects Officer, Stonegate Farmers LTD
William grew up on the family beef and sheep farm in Mid Wales where he now actively participates in sustainable farming practices. He is an active NFU Cymru member, and enjoys hiking in the Welsh hills and being a part of his local Wales YFC club.

Alys Probert, Herefordshire – Agricultural Lecturer, Holme Lacy College
Alys regularly helps out on her family’s beef farm and runs a flock of around 100 ewes on rented ground. Always keen to expand her knowledge and skills, Alys has recently completed a welding course and volunteered in Fiji and Nicaragua.

Liz Rees, Brecon – Regional Manager, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI)
Having a keen interest in agriculture and a passion for the countryside, Liz farms in the Bannau Brycheinog alongside her partner and parents keeping a flock of sheep and a small herd of pigs. In her spare time, Liz is a keen musician and enjoys playing the piano, harp, and singing.

Fflur Roberts, Welshpool – Agricultural Lecturer, Hereford, Ludlow & North Shropshire College
Raised on a mixed family farm in Mid Wales, Fflur was awarded the RWAS Student of the Year in 2019 and the Best Overall Agriculture Student at NPTC Group. Fflur has worked in New Zealand and Australia, broadening her knowledge of agricultural systems overseas.

Edward Swan, Mold – Farm and Butchery Manager, Swans Farm Shop
From a third-generation family farm in Flintshire, Edward is passionate about sustainable farming and dedicated to achieving food production at the highest environmental standards possible. Edward is an active member of NFU Cymru and sits on the Welsh Combinable Crops Board.

Teleri Haf Thomas, Brecon – Social Media Lead, Farming Connect Menter a Busnes
Despite not coming from a farming background, Teleri has ties to the rural community via her local Young Farmers Club which has led her to embrace the agricultural industry both professionally and personally. Teleri is currently studying for a master’s degree in Marketing whilst working full-time.

Carys Annwylyd Thomas, Llandeilo – County Organiser, Carmarthenshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs
A farmer’s daughter from Pembrokeshire, Carys is involved in her family farm rearing turkeys for Christmas. She has her own smallholding with her husband and children in Llandeilo, rearing calves. Carys played an active role in her Young Farmers Club and was selected to travel to Kansas, USA for six weeks.

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society would like to congratulate the new cohort on their selection and welcome them to what is set to be an exciting and action-packed programme, commencing with the first session next month.

The Rural Leadership Programme is fully funded thanks to a generous legacy left by the late Mr N Griffiths and match funded by the Glamorgan County Advisory Committee (2023 RWAS Feature County).

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