FOR the last three years, she’s been a livestock reporter for the Farmers’ Guardian but now farmers’ daughter Laura Bowyer from Usk has returned to her Welsh roots.
Laura has recently been appointed as the Farming Connect development officer for south east Wales which covers Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent.
Having been based at the Farmers’ Guardian head office in Lancashire, Laura has welcomed the opportunity to return home to Usk where her family run a 200acre lowland farm, finishing mainly Aberdeen Angus cross cattle and producing finished lambs from a crossbred flock.
An agri-business graduate of Harper Adams University, Laura enjoyed university life and was elected as chair of the Harper Forum in her second year; was treasurer of Harper Cymru and was also named Royal Welsh Agricultural Society/Harper Cymru student of the year in 2015, coinciding with Gwent’s year as host county.
Laura has kept up links with her Welsh contacts and friends through reporting on farming stories, livestock sales and agricultural shows as well as through her membership of the YFC at a club, county and Welsh level. She is currently press officer for both Usk and Gwent YFC and county representative on the Wales rural affairs committee.
Laura’s role is to encourage farming and forestry businesses in her area to take advantage of the wide range of support services, training and special projects available through Farming Connect.
“I hope that my background of meeting farmers from a very broad range of sectors and reporting on many different approaches to running successful businesses has given me a good background for my new role.
“I’m keen to see more farmers apply the many services which can transform personal development through projects such as the skills and mentoring programme, as well as business and technical advice.”
Laura is a regular visitor to her local livestock market in Raglan and is looking forward to meeting farmers who want advice on any particular Farming Connect services which could help them develop their personal and business skills.
Currently recruiting members for new discussion groups on topics likely to include sheep, beef and dairy as well as arable and horticulture, Laura says she would like interested farmers to get in touch.
Essential qualities for the job? An interest in the local farming community and an eagerness to work with the people within it.