Two former FUW leaders and a member honoured

FORMER FUW presidents Bob Parry and Gareth Vaughan have been advanced to fellows of the Royal Agricultural Societies (RAS) for their continued contribution to the agricultural and rural industries in Wales.

Bob Parry (left) and Gareth Vaughan (right)

Bob Parry (left) and Gareth Vaughan (right)

Mr Parry of Bryngwran, Holyhead, was made an associate in 2004 following his submission entitled “My role in Welsh agriculture”. He played an influential role in shaping Welsh agriculture within the FUW as livestock committee chairman, deputy president and president – a role he held for 12 years.

His knowledge and expertise helped with many decisions and discussions including compensation for farmers as a result of the Chernobyl fallout, live exports, the CAP reform, promoting Welsh lamb internationally and the setting up of the Beef Promotion Council. Mr Parry continues to make an outstanding contribution to his community in his role as county councillor.

Mr Vaughan of Dolfor, near Newtown, was made an associate in 2009 following his submission “Investing in the future”. During his role as FUW president he travelled far and wide representing fellow farmers and his contribution to the Welsh farming community was recognised by the Queen in the 2011 New Years Honours list. Since his retirement from the FUW Mr Vaughan has remained extremely active in the industry – sitting on committees, chairing FWAG Cymru and supporting charities.

The Welsh national panel and national moderators panel of the RAS council of awards approved the advancement of seven other industry personalities, all made associates in 2009, by also granting them the coveted title of Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural Societies (FRAgS). Edwin Hughes of Cornist Ganol Farm, Flint, was made an associate following his submission “Farming and Community Activities”.

Since retiring as Wynnstay Group’s director, Mr Hughes has continued to make an outstanding contribution to the farming industry and his community activities. As a senior JP, he sits on the Magistrates Association national council and the Lord Chief Justice’s advisory committee for Wales. He also continues to serve as the founder and vice chairman of the Flintshire Vintage and Classic Tractor Society.

Meurig James, of Whitland, was made an associate following his submission “The role of type classification in the breeding and managing of profitable, long living, dairy cows”. He is now Holstein UK’s breeds development executive and is largely responsible for influencing the Holstein breed, other dairy breeds and safeguarding the image of cattle showing in the modern era.

He has also recently been an officer at the Carmarthen chamber of agriculture and continues to be involved with the top dairy shows throughout the UK where he is well respected by all breeders and showmen. Peredur Hughes of Llanddeusant, Holyhead, was made an associatefollowing his submission “A lifetime in agriculture, a moment in agri-politics”.

He remains committed to agriculture by chairing the Welsh Government’s animal health and welfare steering group. Mandated to give Welsh Government and the industry direction in dealing with a raft of animal health diseases and welfare issues, Mr Hughes works closely with chief veterinary officer Christianne Glossop. The steering group was replaced by the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Group which Mr Hughes was asked to chair.

David Jones, of Machynlleth, was made an associate following his submission “My contribution to the wool industry and its produce”. Before his retirement, Mr Jones worked for the British Wool Board for 25 years and is widely recognised as one of the most knowledgeable people in the UK on every type of wool in the British wool clip. He is an internationally renowned wool judge and also sits on both the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s shearing committee and the National Sheep Association Cymru committee. He has also been awarded the John Gittins and George Hedley memorial awards in recognition of his contribution to the British wool industry.

FUW member Tegwyn Jones of Mallwyd, Machynlleth, was made an associate following his submission “Farming conservation and energy production”. By exploring new ways to utilise the family hill farm, Mr Jones has expanded his farming enterprises to encompass and make full use of the available natural resources, which now include two very successful hydro-electric schemes.

To share his knowledge and innovative skills and determination to be successful, Mr Jones has hosted many farm visits and undertaken numerous talks to farming organisations and training groups where he encourages others to ‘think outside the box’. Robert Alwyn Rees of Pennal, Machynlleth, was made an associate following his submission “Genetic improvement of Welsh mountain sheep and cattle”.

Mr Rees continues to be a pioneer in all aspects of his farming career. His achievements in developing and using genetic knowledge are now legendary and, as proof, his stock consistently achieves record prices in the auction rings and many accolades in the show ring. A keen ambassador for the industry, he is always ready to give encouragement and share his experience and knowledge with others.

John T Davies of Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire, was made an associate following his submission “Promoting agriculture within the public sector”. Mr Davies continues to be a prominent and influential figure in Welsh affairs and a tireless supporter of agriculture and the rural economy.

In his role as chairman of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s board of directors, he provides strong leadership and guidance and acts as an effective bridge between the society, its members, the wider rural community and the Welsh Government.

All nine fellows will be officially presented with their certificates at a reception held on the Tuesday evening of this year’s Royal Welsh Show.

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