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Farmers Weekly Awards 2023: Younger Farmer of the Yr

In only a quick few years since leaving faculty, Reuben Powell has constructed a enterprise that champions excessive welfare and environmental consciousness, and retains his household’s farming values at coronary heart.

Hailing from a combined livestock background, with cattle and sheep saved on his household’s farm, Reuben had no prior expertise of the broiler sector. He hung out studying in regards to the trade and took a job strolling birds at a neighborhood unit.

He later took the reins of a 40ha web site that his mother and father purchased within the early 2000s, the place he set about planning his personal unit.

See additionally: Farmers Weekly Awards 2023: Younger Farmer of the Yr

Future proof

Since broiler farming is comparatively power- hungry, made worse by the hovering vitality costs seen within the spring of 2022, Reuben put measures in place to make sure that his web site is sustainable, and guarded towards future vitality worth rises.

He initially put in an 80kW photo voltaic array on the roof of one of many sheds, and an additional 150kW system to feed into 250kW of battery storage. This accompanies a 480kW ground-source heating system.

Whereas this was a frightening funding, Reuben hopes it would present 60-70% of the electrical energy wanted to run the positioning, and also will be certain that the meat is produced utilizing 100% renewable warmth, which ought to attraction to extra climate-­aware customers.

Farm details

  • 240ha owned, 60ha rented
  • Broiler sheds sit on 40ha plot
  • 100,000 birds
  • Household enterprise entails 2,000 ewes, plus suckler cows
  • Former prime minister David Cameron known as the Welsh Sheeptacular the spotlight
    of the Royal Welsh Present

Successful methods

  • A give attention to excessive welfare and willingness to trial totally different techniques to get the very best outcomes
  • Gained recognition with the Aviagen Ross 420 Gold Award
  • Ahead considering, sustainable design of the poultry items, which allow meat to be produced from 100% renewable vitality
  • Public engagement, with the Welsh Sheeptacular showcasing Welsh farming

Excessive requirements

Eager consideration to element and a give attention to excessive welfare in his broiler crops have already paid dividends for Reuben, after he acquired trade recognition for his efforts.

The primary chicks had been launched to the positioning in October 2020, and since then Reuben has been awarded a prestigious Aviagen Ross 420 Gold award.

Gold award winners are thought of to be among the many high 1% of broiler farmers within the UK, and to qualify, producers should have three consecutive crops with a European manufacturing effectivity issue rating of 420 or above – one thing Reuben has maintained for 5 consecutive crops.

The Welsh Sheeptacular

Holding on to custom, Reuben has additionally taken the reins of his household’s long-standing diversification, the Welsh Sheeptacular.

Initially run by his uncle, Clive, the showcase of 20 totally different sheep breeds and an illustration of shearing was an essential a part of Reuben’s childhood, and one he was reluctant to let go of when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and pressured the closure of agricultural exhibits throughout the nation, and the Sheeptacular together with them.

When life started to return to regular after the pandemic, Reuben approached his uncle and agreed to revive the Sheeptacular, taking over the organisation and working, and he instantly set about sourcing rams from 20 totally different breeds.

Below Reuben’s steerage, the Sheeptacular has since returned to the Royal Welsh Present with a full tent of tourists eager to find out about sheep and Welsh agriculture.

A phrase from our unbiased decide

“Reuben used his expertise engaged on different farms within the UK and in New Zealand to convey again concepts to the house farm.

“He was keen to take the chance of a considerable funding within the poultry unit to develop a worthwhile enterprise. Alongside this, he has taken on the Welsh Sheeptacular, showcasing the sector to the general public.”

Cath Crowther, regional director CLA East

The FW 2023 Younger Farmer of the Yr is sponsored by Map of Ag

Sponsor’s message

Map of Ag“It’s incredible to see a brand new era of farmers making use of advances in expertise, knowledge measurement and precision to conventional farming strategies. Congratulations to you all.”

Joe Towers, senior account supervisor, Map of Ag



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