Byline: Steve Dube
SEVEN leading lights of Welsh agriculture were honoured with the top award in British farming as the Royal Welsh Winter Fair ended this week.
The new Fellows of the Royal Agricultural Societies include the managing director of one of the most successful agricultural co-operatives in Wales and the creator of the Nantybwla cheese.
Bernard Harris of the Wynnstay Group, who lives at Meifod, Powys, is one of the seven Associates of the Royal Agricultural Societies from Wales to become Fellows in recognition of their continuing contribution to agriculture.
Under Mr Harris's direction the annual turnover of the Wynnstay Group rose from pounds 50m in 1996 to pounds 81m in 2002 generating a pre-tax profit of pounds 2.1m.
The co-op manufactures 190,000 tonnes of animal feed a year and has increased its chain of rural retail shops from 15 to 21.
It employs 320 people, many from farming backgrounds.
Nantybwla cheese is the creation of Eiddwen Morgan of Nantybwla, College Road, Carmarthen.
She is recognised as an ambassador of Welsh agriculture through her work in promoting and developing a better understanding of the industry and its products to the public.
Her cheese has won many trophies and the farm has hosted hundreds of visitors over the years, including many from abroad and school and educational groups.
As well as developing modern dairy facilities and opening a farm shop, she has collected items to create a museum of rural life.
The other new Fellows are:
Emyr Pugh Jones of Braichllwyd, Mallwyd, Machynlleth, Powys, an innovative hill farmer who doubled the acreage and tripled the stock carried on the farm through land improvement - while also caring for the environment.
His latest project has been the development, together with his two sons, of a hydro electric scheme feeding off a mountain stream. …