HE’S a chartered surveyor and rural valuer, a Nuffield scholar, a

local radio presenter and in agricultural circles, he’s in demand at

home and internationally as a public speaker too!

Now, Carmarthenshire farmer’s son Aled Rhys Jones BSc(Hons) MRICS FAAV NSch, who grew up on

the family beef and sheep holding in Cwrt-y-Cadno, is adding yet another

string to his bow by joining Farming Connect as the newly appointed

leader of the Agri Academy Junior Programme.

Welsh speaker Aled, who from 2013 to the end of 2017 was assistant chief

executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, seems to have packed as much into his 31years as many people achieve in a lifetime!

But Aled

says that his latest role with the Agri Academy, which will see him

inspiring and mentoring 16 – 19 year olds hoping for a career in the

food, farming or land management industries, could be one of the most

rewarding yet.

“As a former Agri Academy candidate myself, and with the closing date

for this year’s applicants only a few weeks away on 30 March, I’m

very keen to get the message out to young people from a rural background

in Wales that for me, the experience was one of the most important and

influential stepping stones in terms of personal development and career

enhancement” says Aled.

A first class honours graduate from Reading University, where he won the

‘best rural practice’ student award as part of his land management

degree, Aled was one of the youngest qualified chartered surveyors in

the UK when he gained chartered status at just 23. Later that year and

another exam later, he was also made a Fellow of the Central Association

of Agricultural Valuers.

Einir Davies, manager for Farming Connect’s mentoring and development

programme said that Aled brings a wealth of experience and skills to the

role.

“The Agri Academy Junior Programme, which is a joint collaboration

with Wales YFC, has already proved a hugely valuable springboard for

many young people from Wales

“We are so fortunate to have someone of Aled’s calibre involved with

not only selecting this year’s candidates but in planning the 2018

programme of mentoring, training and study visits, which as in previous

years, will also include a work experience placement for each of the

participants,” said Ms. Davies.

“Aled is an inspirational, hugely professional and popular individual,

yet he willingly acknowledges that it was his own Agri Academy

experience, and the new networks of friends and contacts he made at that

time, that led him to apply for a Nuffield Farming Scholarship.”

Aled’s Nuffield scholarship looked at the role of agricultural

societies and shows across the globe, which not only won him a shield

for the best presentation at the Nuffield UK conference held in

Newcastle in 2016 but has since that time led him to being invited to

address show societies throughout the world. He presented a paper at the

27th Commonwealth Agricultural Conference in Singapore in 2016, was

invited to be a trustee of the Royal Agricultural Society of the

Commonwealth and will now lead the Next Generation Conference at the

28th Commonwealth Agricultural Conference in Edmonton, Alberta Canada,

later this year.

Aled, who lives with wife Lisa in Llandeilo, says his key interests

involve keeping fit and running – he’s a regular marathon runner –

and he sings with a male vocal group called ‘Ar Wasgar’ with other

former YFC members for a bit of fun.

“I’m looking forward to supporting and mentoring the coming year’s

intake of candidates, and I’ll be doing all I can to help facilitate

and guide them as they begin to plan their future career pathways.

“These young individuals are the future of our industry; good

preparation will be key to their future prosperity and that of farming

in Wales.”

Farming Connect is funded by the Welsh Government and the European

Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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