The future is bright for Welsh farming

Pembrokeshire-based Aled Thomas wins Agricultural Student of the Year award

by Rob Edwards, Business Development Manager, Kubota UK

Farming may be one of the oldest institutions in the world but in recent times it hasn’t escaped the well- publicised and ever-increasing UK-wide skills shortage.

Today’s changing landscape – politically, environmentally and socially – has transformed the traditional image of the ‘farmer’. nowadays, those who choose to follow this career path require not only an excellent knowledge of practical agricultural techniques but also a broader business mindset and the ability to sell and market their goods and services.

This shift in skillset is where the problem often lies when it comes to attracting new talent. at Kubota, we recognise the key role that the next generation of talented farming professionals

will play in order to take us into the new era of agriculture. This is why we’re so proud to celebrate the achievements of rising stars within the industry and also why we choose to sponsor the ‘agricultural Student of the Year’ category at this year’s British Farming awards.

The winner of the prestigious award this year was Pembrokeshire-based aled Thomas. Having spent his childhood growing up on a 350- acre, beef and arable farm in Haverfordwest, at the age of 19, aled decided to apply to university and was accepted onto the BSc agriculture course at Harper adams University.

Despite being unsure whether he’d chosen the right path at first and finding the first term challenging, aled now claims that the four year’s studying has better prepared him for his future career in agriculture, granting him the scientific knowledge and business acumen needed to be successful.

2019 has been a year full of achievement for aled who graduated with a 2:1 in September and was then, of course, crowned ‘agricultural Student of the Year’ after being nominated by one of his lecturers.

Commenting on his win and the industry aled Thomas said: “Winning this award is a huge achievement for me. i think that awards like this one, sponsored by an industry leader like Kubota, could

have a big impact on helping to reduce the skills gap.

“They help to raise the profile of farming as an industry and showcase its value. They also help to dispel many of the myths around it – such as poor pay and lack of opportunity.”

“The reality is that the agriculture market is always expanding. it’s an exciting and versatile profession to get in to and there is a lot of opportunity for young people. The pace of change – especially when it comes to the modern technologies now being used across the sector – means that often younger people who are open to newer ways of thinking and working can be really successful.”

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