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Farming

Farming the lesson of the day

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FACE Coordinator for Wales Jane Powell, NFU Cymru member Walter Simon and NFU Cymru President Stephen James: With Narberth Community Primary School

CHILDREN in Narberth, Pembrokeshire have been given the opportunity to learn about the importance of food and farming thanks to a new teaching resource.

Pupils at Narberth Community Primary School enjoyed a visit from local farmers , NFU Cymru President Stephen James and Walter Simon , for a lesson planned around the new ‘Why Farming Matters/Pam Fod Ffermio’n Bwysig’ education packs produced by NFU Cymru and Farming and Countryside Education (FACE).

The education packs, now available in both English and Welsh, are designed to provide teachers with ideas and activities to help stimulate and foster children’s interest in food and farming, encourage healthy eating and lifestyles, as well as encouraging pupils to think about where their food comes from. The resource, aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils, looks to weave the themes of food and farming through the curriculum areas of English, Welsh, maths, geography, science, art and design.

The Welsh language teaching resource is the latest work to be released as part of the wider NFU ‘Why Farming Matters’ initiative, which has been raising awareness of the contribution made by agriculture to rural communities for a decade.

NFU Cymru President Stephen James said: “Agriculture plays such an integral part of life in Pembrokeshire and it is important that local children understand the vital role that farming plays for rural communities, the Welsh language and Wales’ cultural identity.

“I am thrilled that we are able to take these ‘Why Farming Matters/ Pam Fod Ffermio’n Bwysig’ education packs into schools and help pupils learn about farming in a fun and informative way, through the mediums of English and Welsh.”

Jane Powell, FACE Coordinator for Wales, said: “There is nothing like meeting a farmer to bring food education to life, and I’m delighted to be working with NFU Cymru, Planed and other members of the Pembrokeshire Sustainable Agriculture Network to show children what’s going on in the countryside around them.”

Nia Ward, Headteacher at Narberth County Primary School, added: “It was a great to be able to invite Stephen and Walter to school today to assist with our lesson around the ‘Why Farming Matters/Pam Fod Ffermio’n Bwysig’ education packs and help bring the subject to life. I know the teaching staff have already been using this resource to incorporate food and farming messages into lessons and these activities have been well received by pupils.”

The English and Welsh language versions of the ‘Why Farming Matters/Pam Fod Ffermio’n Bwysig’ education packs can also be downloaded from www. whyfarmingmatters.co.uk.

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Farming

Access to EU Single Market and Customs Union critical for rural Wales

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Brian Thomas: ​​FUW Deputy President

N​EWS that Northern Ireland could be granted access to the European Single Market and Customs Union shows that it is possible to achieve what the Farmers’ Union of Wales has been calling for since the EU referendum.

Speaking from his farm in Pembrokeshire, ​​FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas said: “Different parts of the UK can’t be treated differently and we therefore call on the UK government to ensure that Wales, given its heavy reliance on red meat exports to the EU, is given the same treatment. Should this deal be offered and come to fruition we fully expect to have the same offered to us.

“In the farming community there is a real sense of worry, alarm and anger about the state of Brexit negotiations, and how the current state of play compares to what was promised by many before the referendum.

“And whilst we recognise that the Irish border situation presents some unique challenges that need to be overcome, rural Wales has challenges of its own, such the economic challenges we have long highlighted. We need to recognise the impact that failure to secure such access and reach agreement for Wales could have. Denying Wales access to the Single Market and Customs Union would have catastrophic consequences, as recently highlighted in scenarios from the FAPRI and Horizon reports.”

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Farming

Farmers from Wales and Oz join forces to showcase ‘lightning lamb’

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Jamie Heinrich and Richard Roderick: At the HCC lightning lamb cookoff

A ‘LIGHTNING LAMB’ cooking challenge featuring award-winning sheep farmers from both sides of the globe was one of the highlights of the recent Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells.

Surveys show that families in Britain have only 32 minutes on average to prepare an evening meal nowadays, as opposed to an hour in 1980. Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is taking steps to emphasise lamb’s quick-cook credentials, so enlisted the help of Australian farmer Jamie Heinrich and Breconshire’s own Richard Roderick in a ‘cookoff’ to prove it!

Jamie Heinrich hails from Kangaroo Island near Adelaide in South Australia, and operates a 2000-acre holding farming Poll Merino and White Suffolk sheep. His visit to Wales is part of a Nuffield Australia scholarship to study how to encourage young entrants to the industry.

Richard Roderick lives at Newton Farm near Talybont-on-Usk in the Brecon Beacons. He is a past HCC Scholar, and has won several farming accolades including the Silver Lapwing Award in 2016 for his environmental management. Earlier this year he featured on the BBC series ‘Nadiya’s British Food Adventure’.

With the help of HCC cook Elwen Roberts, Jamie rustled up a rapid Welsh Lamb stir-fry with oriental flavours, while Richard’s creation was a pan-fried leg steak with red wine sauce. After tasting and judging by members of the audience, the two delicious dishes could not be separated, so the Wales vs Australia match ended in an honourable draw.

“When I came over to Wales I certainly didn’t anticipate getting involved in a cookoff to promote lamb!” said Nuffield Australia Scholar Jamie Heinrich. “Many of the challenges for the industry – recruiting younger farmers and making sure that lamb is appealing to young consumers who are pushed for time – are the same the world over. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of my trip to Wales and Europe.”

HCC’s Elwen Roberts commented: “It was great fun to challenge two farmers to come up with a quick and tasty lamb recipe. They both did extremely well, and the Winter Fair audience loved seeing and tasting the food.”

“It’s important to emphasise that lamb can be an excellent choice for a quick evening meal,” she added. “HCC has recently launched a mobile-phone-friendly recipe selector on the eatwelshlamb.com website, to help give consumers inspiration for lamb dishes while on the move.”

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Farming

Food Centre Wales at the Farm Business Innovation show

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Arwyn Davies, Business Development Manager: With Angela Sawyer, Senior Food Technologist, Food Centre Wales

THE FOOD CENTREA WALES team were at the Farm Business Innovation show 2017 offering advice and support to businesses in the food and drinks industry.

The event held on November​ 8-9​ in Birmingham highlighted the continued interest in adding value to farm produce, particularly in Wales.

Arwyn Davies, Business Development Manager at Food Centre Wales, said​:​ “As this was the first time we had exhibited at the Farm Business Innovation show. We went in with an open mind, but we are pleased to report that it was a very successful two days. We spoke to many farm owners during the two days, many of whom were from Wales.”

Arwyn Davies’ talk on ‘Farm Diversification into Food Processing – Exploring Opportunities & Avoiding Pitfalls’ was very popular with every seat taken.

Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic and Community Development said​:​ “The Team at Food Centre Wales were interested to hear all the ideas and plans people had for diversifying their farm businesses. The Centre’s food technologists were on hand to offer advice on how farmers could add value to their food produce and what could be done do to help them along the process. If you didn’t get a change to call in at the stand, the Team are more than happy to help at the Centre.”

Food Centre Wales will be following up with inquiries received at the show, with the aim to help many develop their food products and reach new markets.

If you would like to know more about how Food Centre Wales can help you, get in touch by phone 01559 362230 or email gen@foodcentrewales.org.uk.

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