There has been a lot of discussions during the past two months about the work we have been doing to try and influence the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme. As this work goes on, our county officers have been continuing to work with members supporting farmers and their families with all sorts of enquiries and issues.

At this time of year, our team of experts across the length and breadth of Wales are supporting members to complete their Single Application Form (SAF). This is the essential process for farmers and landowners to access financial support related to farming and rural activities from the Welsh Government. The SAF is done annually, so it’s an important piece of information that includes all kinds of facts, figures and details regarding a farm business. It therefore needs to be filled in accurately. Our FUW County Executive Officers are therefore inundated with appointments at this time of year, and will continue to be busy until the SAF closing date which falls on the 16 of May this year. The message, as usual, is to book your slot early, if you need support!

As so many members visit our offices during this period, we get to hear about other issues that are worrying our farmers. From the constant wet weather, the cost of living crisis, family bereavements, TB concerns, Schmallenberg (the insect borne viral disease spread by biting midges that is currently affecting sheep, cattle and other animals in some areas of Wales) and all kinds of other farming related issues. 

As one of my colleagues recently said: “No two days are ever the same in this job, but we are in a fortunate and privileged position to be able to offer support. Farming can be a very isolating role. You can be out and about tending your stock in all kinds of weather, and with many in the throes of lambing and calving, sleep deprivation has a role to play in the mood we find some of our farmers. During a busy period like this, many farmers don’t get to the livestock markets which are a great place to share the load and offer perspective on any worries farmers may have. Talking to others working within the  industry can shine a different light on any concern a farmer may have.

As FUW county staff we speak to many farmers during this period. We are on hand not only to offer practical support, but to listen, to offer advice and to give guidance, if needed, during trying times. We are also indebted to many voluntary led organisations and charities who work specifically within the agricultural industry such as The DPJ Foundation, Tir Dewi and RABI. 

The DPJ Foundation has a 24/7 confidential counselling referral service specifically for those who work in agriculture. 'Share The Load', guarantees that those who call will be contacted within 48 hours by a counsellor and seen within a week. We need to shatter the stigma associated with asking for support following loss, bereavement, feeling low or exhausted or just simply suffering the strain of daily life pressures. All these issues, if ignored, can all lead to poor mental health and depression, but there is ALWAYS someone on hand to listen. Don’t struggle alone, please speak to someone. 

Call 0800 587 4262 or visit for more information or advice.