Fascinating insight into the prospects for the agricultural industry is in store next week when the FUW's Glamorgan County Branch holds a very timely discussion forum on the subject Farming in the Future.
The branch has assembled a really interesting panel of speakers - Welsh MEP Jonathan Evans, Hybu Cig Cymru chairman Rees Roberts, Newport auctioneer Steve Williams of Newland Rennie Wilkins, and the chairman of Farmers First, Terry Bayliss, a former FUW vice-president. I have agreed to be the chairman for the evening.
The event will take place at Heol-y-Cyw Rugby Club at 7.30pm next Tuesday and it is open to all who are interested.
The forum is well timed, coming soon after an FUW survey during last year's Royal Welsh Winter Fair discovered Welsh farmers are less confident about the state of their industry than at any time since the foot and mouth epidemic of 2001.
The survey found that just 44% of farmers questioned felt optimistic or very optimistic about the current condition of farming, compared with 60% when the survey was last conducted in 2003.
This is the lowest figure since the start of FUW surveys at the tail end of the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak, when just 32% of Welsh farmers felt optimistic about their industry.
These findings reveal a worrying undercurrent of discontent in the industry. …