Importance of succession key topic ar Carmarthenshire farm visit
The importance of succession in the farming industry was the key topic at an eve of Welsh Dairy Show visit to Farmers’ Union of Wales member and dairy farmer Bryan Thomas and his son Gareth’s holding in Carmarthenshire.
Gareth, 40, is the main 90 per cent decision maker of the business, which trades as D J Thomas & Son, and is the Carmarthenshire county representative on the FUW’s new younger voice for farming committee.
He is married to Heather, a primary school teacher, and they have three children, Hannah (9), Jack (7) and one-year-old Bryn.
Gareth currently milks 200 pedigree Holstein cattle and 200 followers at the 172-acre Gelliddu farm at Cwmffrwd, near Carmarthen. He and Heather have also purchased a further 100-acre holding nine miles away.
The farm is traditionally run, retaining and rearing five bulls a year and selling a large percentage of calved heifers.
Their main aim is ensuring longevity of the herd. Three of their cattle have reached 100 tons of milk produced in the last two years, a very rare occurrence which proves the success of their goals.
Gareth and Bryan are one of the very few breeders who have three home-bred cattle classified EX95 on the farm at the same time.
Bryan, who recently stepped down as a board member of National Milk Records after 15 years, believes it is important to allow the next generation take the reins and let the industry move forward.
“I passionately believe that by giving responsibility to my son will benefit his chances of succeeding in business in later life,” he said.
Bryan was one of five people who set up the Welsh Dairy Show 24 years ago when it was believed an autumn event would be beneficial to dairy farmers in their decision making for the forthcoming winter and it has since grown from strength to strength.
He has just taken on the role of president of the show which took place at the United Counties Showground, near Carmarthen, on Tuesday October 16.
Two years ago Bryan received a Master Breeder award from the Holstein Society, a highly acclaimed award presented to only four or five people a year.
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