A beef and sheep farmer from Trefecca, near Brecon, has today (Thursday, July 25) been announced as the NFU Cymru/NFU Mutual Wales Woman Farmer of the Year.

The award, which is now in its 23rd year, was presented to 2019 winner Nicola Drew at this year’s Royal Welsh Show.

The competition seeks to champion the contribution that women make to the agricultural industry and to raise the profile of women in farming.

Nicola has been farming in partnership with her dad, since she decided to quit her job in performing arts and come home to take over the running of Trefecca Farm nine years ago.

She has a hands-on approach to managing the farm’s 240ac and regularly submits soil samples for testing, as well as running a rolling programme to reseed less productive pastures.

Nicola manages the day-to-day handling, treatment, feeding and management of the livestock, as well as completing the records of animal ages and breeding histories. She deals with the veterinary and animal health issues as well as the buying and selling of stock.

Nicola participates in a national benchmarking scheme and also takes part in industry discussion groups.

Away from her own farm, Nicola milks three mornings a week. She is also a member of the NSA ‘Next Generation’ group where she is a keen advocate for the involvement of the next generation in farming.

She also represents her local hockey and netball teams and is the current chairman of Gwernyfed Hockey Club.

NFU Cymru deputy president and competition judge, Aled Jones, said: “After visiting the farm, it is clear Nicola has played an active role in the development of the business for the last nine years.

“The fact that she gave up her successful career in performing arts to come home to the farm shows her commitment to the industry, and the family farm.

“I was extremely impressed with her dedication and passion for farming, her hunger to learn, undertaking courses and training to ensure she gets the best from her business.

Nicola’s win shows all those women who want to farm that anything is possible when you set your mind to it.

Fellow judge, and representative of the award sponsors, NFU Mutual, Sioned Mair, who is an NFU Mutual senior agent and NFU Cymru group secretary in Llanrwst, added: “I was extremely impressed with the standard of all the farms we visited across Wales as part of the judging process.

“It was an extremely tough decision to make, as the standards of entries were so high, but I would like to congratulate Nicola on coming out on top.

“Her passion for our industry and commitment to running a successful farm, as well as promoting farming to the next generation of farmers, makes her a fantastic ambassador for female farmers all over Wales.”

Nicola was presented with a Welsh crystal engraved bowl and £500 prize money to mark her achievement.