Hill farmers needed

by Gwawr Parry, Hill Ram Scheme Officer

at the end of last month, we were pleased to officially launch the Hill Ram Scheme, one of the three projects part of the 5-year Red Meat Development Programme, funded

by the eU agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

the aim of the scheme is the strengthen the sheep sector in Wales and in particular hill flocks. as we know, typically Welsh hill flocks produce lighter lambs and traditional markets for these lambs have declined in recent years.

the use of improved genetics in hill flocks in this project will allow farmers to target growth and finishing, ultimately producing lambs that suit

a wider range of markets. additionally, by increasing the overall efficiency of hill sheep systems, farms will be more financially efficient and greenhouse gases will be lowered.

the scheme is the first of its kind in the UK and we are very excited to get it underway. Seven leader flocks have been identified, along with several farmer ‘champions’ who are already using performance recording within their hill flocks and we are looking to have a total of 35 flocks participating by the end of the project.

Our leader flocks are a geographically diverse network of commercially-focused hill farmers who produce a variety of hill sheep breeds, including north Wales mountain type and improved Welsh. the leader flocks will help mentor new recruits in the coming years by sharing their initial experience of the

scheme.
Farmers who take part in the Hill Ram Scheme

will be using the latest technology, including DNa parentage, to monitor and record genetic data and key performance indicators within the flock. they will receive support and training throughout the scheme to market their flocks and establish a performance

recorded ram sale.
If you are a hill sheep farmer and are

interested in taking part in the scheme you are warmly invited to find out more at our next series of open meetings, which are taking place at the following locations:

• 7/2/2019 – the Goat Inn, Bryncir, 7-9pm • 12/2/2019 – eagles Hotel, Llanrwst, 7-9pm

• 13/2/2019 – Royal Ship Hotel, Dolgellau, 7-9pm
• 19/2/2019 – the talbot, tregaron, 7-9pm
• 20/2/2019 – Whitehouse Country Inn, Sennybridge, 7-9pm
Please register to attend any of the meetings by phoning 01970 625050 or emailing info@hccmpw.org.uk and I hope to see and welcome you then.

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