FUW members re-elect presidential team at virtual council meeting

Members of the Farmers’ Union of Wales have re-elected their presidential team at a special virtual meeting of the union’s council.

The presidential team is democratically elected by the union’s farmer members from across all 12 county branches.

The presidential team frequently represents the union at ministerial meetings, stakeholder workshops and local branch meetings.

The full team includes president Glyn Roberts and deputy president Ian Rickman, as well as the vice presidents for the North, Mid and South of Wales regions.

Ian Rickman is a Carmarthenshire sheep farmer, who is a past county chairman of the FUW in Carmarthenshire, and has held the position of chairman of the hill farming and marginal land committee.

North Wales vice president Eifion Huws, a highly respected Ayrshire cattle judge and dairy farmer, who has been representing the dairy industry in the hope of acquiring better conditions and prices for farmers.

Image source FUW

Mid Wales vice president Brian Bowen (pictured above) runs a mixed suckler cow and hill sheep unit near Tredegar. The farm consists of 150ac of owned land with a further 1,000ac which are rented and 1,200ac of common rights on three separate commons. He runs the farm, along with his father, mother and son.

Bowen served as FUW Brecon and Radnor vice-chairman from 2008 and was elected as its county chairman in 2010. He has been the Brecon and Radnor delegate on the FUW livestock, wool and marts committee since 2009 and currently serves as its vice-chairman.

South Wales vice-president Dai Miles (pictured top), is a Pembrokeshire dairy farmer and chairman of the milk and dairy produce committee.

He is also one of the four founding directors of Calon Wen, an organic milk co-operative that not only sells on its members’ milk to processors but has created its own brand of dairy products which are available through all major retailers in Wales and UK wide via distributors.

In 1997, in partnership with his wife Sharron, the couple took on the tenancy of Barnsley Farm, a 143ac farm in West Wales.

At the time, it was a stock/arable unit which they converted into an organic dairy unit starting with 33 cows and leased milk quota.

In 2001, they took on a further 90 ac of pasture land and then in 2005 the neighbouring farm within the same estate.

At the moment the couple have 120 cows and 65 youngstock. Cropping is mainly grass; however, arable silage, forage rape and fodder beet are part of the rotation farming approx. 300ac.

Speaking about the re-elected team, FUW president Glyn Roberts said: “I’m grateful to have such a strong team representing our members in every region of Wales.

“We face some big challenges in the months and years ahead but I am confident that together we can advance and protect Wales’ family farms, both nationally and individually, in order to secure thriving, sustainable family farms here in Wales – which has always been our mission and vision – and we will continue to do everything we can to keep our farmers farming.”