THE FUW’s 2015 internal award for services to the agricultural industry in Wales was presented to Glamorganshire beef and sheep farmer and long standing South Wales special member of the union’s finance and organisation committee Lorraine Howells at the annual general meeting.
Presenting the award, outgoing FUW president Emyr Jones said: “Lorraine has been a member of the FUW for around 40 years. Her commitment and service to the union and agriculture has been of tremendous value and we thank her for all she has done. “She has been a hardworking and conscientious member of the FUW and many standing committees and during this time we have recognised that Lorraine speaks her mind passionately and strongly, but constructively.
“She served as the union’s Glamorganshire county vice chairman from 1989 to 1991, county chairman from 1991 to 1995 and was elected as South Wales member of the finance and organisation committee in 2000 before being elected vice president in June 2011. “Lorraine chaired the FUW’s central common land committee for over ten years and is a past vice chairman of the central hill farming and marginal land committee. “She has served as president of the Welsh Black Cattle Society and her successful and renowned butchers shop Cig Mynydd Cymru, which she set up eight years ago with five fellow breeders in the Rhymney and Merthyr Valley, is testimony to her commitment to the farming industry.”
Miss Howells, who farms Cwm Carno Farm, Rhymney, a hill farm extending to 320 acres mostly of reclaimed opencast land with common grazing, has been farming since 1974, at first in partnership with her grandparents and then on her own. “We must also acknowledge the sterling work Lorraine does outside of the union,” Mr Jones added. “She is treasurer of her local commoners association, sits on the local access forum with her local authority, is part of the local action group for the RDP team, sits on the south east Wales TB board as a farmer member and has previously sat on the upland forum.”
Miss Howells said: “I am very proud to receive the award and I must thank Lee Pritchard for all his help on the farm. Without him I would not have been able to carry out as much work for the union as I have.” Cwm Carno farm carries a suckler herd of pedigree Welsh Black cattle and South Wales Mountain ewes and has been in the family for over 100 years.
Miss Howells took early retirement from teaching at the local comprehensive school in 1997 to devote more time to farming.