Ffermio picks up FUW award
The production team of a popular Welsh-language television programme about farming and rural life was today (Friday June 22) awarded the Farmers' Union of Wales annual external award for services to the agricultural industry in Wales.
The team behind S4C's Ffermio programme and website received the award during the union's annual general meeting in Aberystwyth.
Telesgop, now based in Swansea, has produced Ffermio since 1996 after Richard Rees and Elin Rhys first met S4C in a bid to win the contract. He previously worked on agricultural programmes with the BBC and they had a strong team of presenters to support their bid - Sulwyn Thomas, Gerallt Pennant and Rachael Garside.
As a company they have fond memories of the moment Siân Ann Davies received a fax from S4C informing them that the bid had been successful!
At the time, the office was located in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, but as time went on Telesgop grew into a company with considerable expertise in agricultural and rural matters.
As well as Richard, a number of producers/directors have consistently worked on the series, including Dyfrig Davies, as producer and senior producer, Sioned McCue, Mererid Wigley, Lynne Thomas Morgan, Terwyn Davies, Arwyn Williams and Huw Williams.
By now, Gwawr Lewis and Meinir Jones have become producers after spending a number of years as researchers. Young researchers Lowri Fflur Davies and Elin Mair Rees recently joined the team.
Following filming, the pictures are edited in Swansea. Trystan Rowlands and Dai Rees have been with the company since the start and, more recently, Geraint Reynolds has completed the editing team.
Siân Thomas, Siân Ann Davies, Sarah Hendre and Keith Evans also work behind the scenes dealing with the administration and the whole team’s commitment to rural life is responsible for ensuring the high standard of the series.
By 2005, there had been a number of changes to the programme. New presenters were introduced - Daloni Metcalfe, Alun Elidir and Iola Wyn. Mererid Wigley presented the bulletin and the company moved from Llandeilo to Swansea Bay.
Meinir Jones is now one of the presenters, having a strong agricultural background. There’s an annual chance to enter a competition to win trailers, donated by Ifor Williams, of Corwen, and the competition is increasing in popularity year on year.
"The majority of the workforce come from an agricultural background and live amongst the audience in the countryside," said FUW president Emyr Jones.
"S4C has to be congratulated for providing a service such as Ffermio and for its acknowledgement of the industry's importance to Wales."
Elin Rhys said: "2001 was a poignant and difficult year for the industry due to Foot and Mouth disease and Ffermio operated as a special service for Welsh farmers with two live programmes broadcast every week.
"It was not possible to film on farms due to the restrictions so the programmes were broadcast live from studios in Cardiff with the staff operating a helpline every night after each broadcast.
"This was a period when staff realised how close the relationship is with our audience and how dependant the industry is on help, advice and sympathy during difficult and sad times.
"Over the years, a precious relationship developed with farmers, food producers, unions, and rural organisations and the team has immense respect for the agricultural community. That respect ensures the team always give their best back to the audience.
"Telesgop embraces digital technology and the service of www.ffermio.tv has been available for a number of years to provide extra information to our audience.
"Richard and the whole team are very grateful to FUW for this credit to Ffermio, and Telesgop, and we are proud that we can contribute to an industry that is so crucial to our economy, language and culture."
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