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It's Winter Fair Time Again...

View profile for Malcolm Thomas MBE A.R.Ag.S.
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Volatile and fluctuating market prices, supermarket price pressure, inclement weather, and continuing talk about future CAP support - it must be Royal Welsh Winter Fair time again!

The industry has a new Minister and Rebecca Evans has really thrown herself into her role and is already a firm feature of the agricultural scene. Indeed if her decision in rejecting tabular valuations for TB compensation is anything to go by we may have a Minister who sees her role as defending and promoting the agricultural industry in Wales!

We have had the usual round of industry conferences in the past few weeks, and it has been heartening to see the accent on youth as the future of our industry. What is important now is how we translate that into solid and meaningful support for these farmers of the future.

The current Rural Development Programme for Wales surely contains a funding source that should enable young farmers and those farmers looking to ease up and reduce their commitment to receive free advice on succession, taxation, accountancy, agronomy and  nutrition for example to enable the pairing to have the best possible start to their joint venture .

I recommended exactly this in my recent Report to the Minister entitled "Next Generation into Farming in Wales", and I sincerely hope that the Minister will take this recommendation forward as soon as possible!

Without new blood our industry will wither and die, and we simply cannot allow that to happen!   See you all in Builth for the Winter Fair.