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THE winners of Lantra’s Land-based Learner of the Year Awards 2017 (Farming Connect category) have been announced by Cabinet Secretary at the Winter Fair

‘Plan for the future and never stop learning’ are the watchwords of two busy female farmers from North Wales who are committed to their own personal development. It has proved an award-winning doctrine which both are putting to good use in their respective family farm businesses.

Iorwen Jones, this year’s winner of Lantra’s Farming Connect ‘Over 40’ award, helps her husband Eifion run their beef and sheep holding, Ysgeibion Farm near Ruthin.

Bio-chemist Cheryl Reeves, who farms a beef enterprise with her husband Andrew near Bangor on Dee, won Lantra’s Farming Connect ‘Under 40’ award.

The two worthy winners of this year’s prestigious Lantra Land-based Learner of the Year Award were presented with their winner’s certificates by Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs at a special ceremony held today (Monday, 27 Nov) at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Llanelwedd.

The Cabinet Secretary congratulated all Lantra winners on their outstanding achievements saying she was particularly encouraged that many farmers now consider increasing their business management and financial skills as important as gaining new technical and practical skills.

“Many farmers put a huge amount of effort into their land and stock, but without sound business practices in place, your business will still not reach its potential.

“In the last twelve months, Lantra has seen a significant increase in the number of applications for business development courses which augurs well for the future viability and resilience of farm businesses in Wales, as they prepare for the opportunities and challenges of exiting the EU,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

Both Iorwen and Cheryl juggle the demands of helping out with day to day farming activities with off-farm careers and family life, but they agree that attending Lantra courses on business topics including business planning, marketing and development, financial recording and VAT has transformed the way in which they tackle the challenging volume of paperwork which goes hand in hand with running a successful farm business.

Both women were nominated for the awards by Julie Thomas, director of Simply the Best Training Consultancy, the approved Farming Connect training company which provided all their business training.

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