Farming couple Sion and Claire Williams, from Carmarthenshire, were presented with the NSA Cymru/Wales Young Achievement Award at the Welsh Winter Fair yesterday.
The annual award is given to recognise the specific contribution of people under the age of 35 to the sheep farming sector. Sion and Claire were selected not just for their role in hosting NSA Welsh Sheep in May, which attracted several thousand visitors to their farm in South Wales, but also their achievement in taking on a farming tenancy in 2010 and utilising IT, industry schemes and grant aid to make their sheep enterprise thrive.
David Pittendreigh, the Welsh NSA chairman, said: “Sion and Claire Williams took on a 10-year tenancy at the 255-acre Beili Ficer Farm in 2010 and have achieved a huge amount already. They rent another 150 acres and own a further 20 acres and have developed a thriving sheep enterprise with the goal of producing exactly what the market wants.
“They run a mixed flock of 1,200 Mule, Texel Mule and Aberdale ewes and their 100% focus on maximising lamb production off grass and kilograms of lamb sold per ewe is a lesson to everyone in the sheep sector, whatever their age.
“We all know the challenges for young people to get on the farming ladder and the way Sion and Claire work closely with their landlords in a relationship that benefits them both is an inspiration to young farmers who dream of farming in their own right.”
The presentation was made at the Welsh Winter Fair, where the NSA also launched a membership recruitment campaign for 2014, with a free prize draw for new members existing members who recommend them.