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Fferm Ffactor finalists invite Deputy Minster to their homesteads

04/12/2014

A farmer from Llangyndeyrn, Carmarthenshire has been announced as the winner of Fferm Ffactor 2014.

Roy Edwards of Groesasgwrn Farm will take home this year's title as well as an Isuzu D-Max Yukon 4x4 pick-up along with a year's insurance courtesy of FUW Insurance Services

"I wasn't really convinced that I would win, and I fully expected that someone else would take the title. It was a complete surprise – and a good one!" says Roy Edwards, a dairy farmer and a father to four young sons who all gave their support every step of the way in the competition.

"The children are over the moon. I'd come home after completing a task and the youngest children would ask 'Dad, are you bringing home the Isuzu today?'. They hadn't really grasped it! My oldest son is 13 and he's been supporting his mother on the farm while I've been going to film Fferm Ffactor. He would also give me an earful if I hadn't performed well on the task, and that was enough motivation for me to always try harder."

The three finalists were: Tudor Roberts-Watkins of Creigfryn, Carno, Powys; Roy Edwards of Groesasgwrn, Llangyndeyrn; and Gethin Lloyd of Glanrhyd, Abergorlech, Carmarthenshire. Their final task was to show the Deputy Minister for Farming and Food Rebecca Evans AM around their farms before the winner was announced in front of an audience in the Winter Fair in Llanelwedd.

"This was an ideal opportunity, and I couldn't believe we had the chance to show someone so important in the agriculture industry around our farm and business," said Roy, who invited the Deputy Minister to lend a hand in the milking parlour.

"It was an opportunity to explain the issues currently affecting us on the farm. I felt under a lot of pressure as I was representing a many milk farmers in a way. I also wanted to simply show the amount of work that goes in to producing the milk and to show that we are a family farm and that everyone is part of a team."

Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans said, "I was thrilled to be invited to visit this year’s Fferm Ffactor final three contestants on their farms and was especially interested to learn what farming means to them and their families and hear their hopes and concerns for the future. I was impressed by the passion each of them showed in their work and for their produce, but am pleased I did not have the difficult job of choosing a winner among them!"

Series judges Aled Rees and Professor Wyn Jones were very pleased with the finalists' performance. On a visit to Tudor Watkins-Roberts' home in Carno, she was introduced to the workings of a mid-Wales hill farm. On his dairy farm in Llangyndeyrn, Roy Edward discussed the dairy industry, and the Deputy Minister tried her hand in the milking parlour. And on Gethin Lloyd's farm in Abergorlech, the reality of the effect of TB was plain to see in the empty sheds of Glanrhyd Farm after the stock had to be destroyed.

"As a farmer, I was very proud of them and thought they all did well in this task," says one of the competition judges Aled Rees, a dairy farmer from Cardigan and the winner of the first ever Fferm Ffactor competition in 2009.

"In their own ways they gave the Deputy Minister a good overview of the agriculture industry in Wales and the problems they face. The three farms are very different, so the Deputy Minister saw the variety of the world and more than this she experienced family life on a farm and how everyone contributes. She was welcomes warmly by each family, but also saw the reality of farm life, the bad and the good."

Watch the Fferm Ffactor 2014 finale again on Saturday afternoon, 13 December at 1.00pm or online, on demand, on S4C Clic.

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