NFU Cymru has welcomed a new group of enthusiastic young Welsh farmers to represent the industry as part of the union’s Next Generation group.

This is the third intake of the group, which was set up to encourage younger members of the farming community to have their say on the future of Welsh farming.

The 18 farmers, all under the age of 40 and based across Wales, met for the first time at NFU Cymru’s office on the Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd on Tuesday (May 10), where they heard from members of the NFU Cymru team about what being part of the group entails.

They were welcomed by NFU Cymru Director John Mercer before meeting NFU Cymru President Aled Jones and Deputy President Abi Reader.

Dylan Morgan, NFU Cymru Head of Policy spoke about the Welsh agricultural policy landscape before the NFU Cymru communications team spoke to them about the importance of positive communications when selling the farming message.

They also heard from guest speaker ITV Wales’ rural affairs reporter, Hannah Thomas who spoke about influencing and representing the rural community and the farming network. NFU Cymru Next Generation Group member Susannah Mottershead, from Clwyd said: “It has been a really good today. It was great to meet a broad range of young farmers all doing innovative things.

‘‘It is exciting to think about all the things we’re going to be involved in.

‘‘Farming is relatively new to me and has been a step learning curve, so I am looking forward to having the opportunity to continue on that path.”

Ernie Richards, a Brecon & Radnor member of the group said: “It has been great to meet likeminded people who are passionate about Welsh agriculture.

‘‘I am looking forward to seeing what the programme entails, especially the visits to the Senedd and Westminster.

‘‘I also feel like it’s going to be a good opportunity to get off the farm and learn from other people.”

Awel Mai Hughes, member of the group from Meirionnydd, added: “It has been an excellent day and I cannot wait to see what this new NFU Cymru Next Generation group will achieve. Working with likeminded Welsh farmers means that we can ensure our voices are heard and our concerns are brought to the table.”

NFU Cymru President, Aled Jones said: “It’s been great to welcome the new Next Generation group here today to get to know each other, as well as the wider NFU Cymru team. The future of farming is a topic that is always on my mind and having such a strong group of young farmers who are so enthusiastic about the farming industry really gives me hope for the future.’’

“NFU Cymru is an organisation for all farmers, no matter what age you are, and hearing their thoughts and ideas today just goes to show the passion we have in the future generation. I look forward to working with the new group over the next two years and hearing their new ideas and ways of promoting Welsh farming.”