FARMING Connect’s recruitment campaign for the 2019 intake of Agri Academy candidates is open!

The Agri Academy 2019, now in its seventh year was officially launched by Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, on January the 22nd.

The Agri Academy compromises of three distinct elements, the Rural Leadership programme, a collaboration with the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, the Business and Innovation programme and the Junior Academy, run in partnership with Wales YFC.

Here is what Jacob Anthony had to say about his Agri Academy experience:

Jacob Anthony, Business & Innovation Programme 2014

Fifth-generation farmer Jacob Anthony is a graduate of the Agri Academy Business and Innovation Programme 2014. Jacob, who farms on the family farm at Cwm Risca in Tondu, near Bridgend, won the prestigious Farmers Weekly Young Farmer of the Year award in 2018.

In their citation, the award judges said that Jacob was passionate about progress, and had taken every opportunity to improve his knowledge, update his management systems and stabilise his cashflow.

Jacob says that his Agri Academy experience was a hugely contributory factor to his personal development and one which he highly recommends to other individuals working in agriculture in Wales.

After completing a three-year agriculture diploma at Hartbury College, Jacob returned home to Cwm Risca where he was given sole responsibility for the sheep enterprise.

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He now runs 1,000 Lleyn cross Texel breeding ewes and 300 head of cattle, including 110 Welsh Black cross Limousin/Charolais suckler cows, and 10 pedigree Welsh Blacks.

Since returning to the family farm, he has implemented changes to improve efficiency and reduce input costs.

A keen member of a Farming Connect sheep discussion group, Jacob recently introduced a new sheep-handling system which has helped make flock management easier.

“I firmly believe that it’s essential to keep on developing your skills and knowledge because that’s the only way you will develop your business and ensure you make the most of every opportunity to improve performance.

“My Agri Academy experience gave me huge confidence, new skills and a new network of like-minded individuals and inspirational mentors.

“I would advise anyone thinking of applying for the Agri Academy to go ahead, it’s been a life-changing experience for many of us, which has had enormous personal benefits and helped us develop our business acumen too.”

The application window for Agri Academy 2019 opened on January 22nd and will close on 31 March. Eligibility is open to business partners, immediate family members (spouses, sons and daughters) and employees (on PAYE) of Farming Connect registered businesses.

Farming Connect is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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