Scientist Retires after Dedicating 40 Years to Agriculture Research

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 15, 2003 | Go to article overview

Scientist Retires after Dedicating 40 Years to Agriculture Research


A SCIENTIST who has dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to research that has benefited British agriculture has retired.

Arthur Davies presented a seminar at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (Iger) to commemorate 20 years of upland research earlier this month.

The conference hall at Iger, at Plas Gogerddan near Aberystwyth, was packed with colleagues and invited guests.

Simultaneously transmitted live to researchers based at Iger's North Wyke Research Station, near Okehampton, in Devon, this was Mr Davies's swansong as one of Iger's main influences.

Since 1994, Mr Davies had been head of the institute's upland research work at Bronydd Mawr Research Station, near Brecon. However, his career began after graduating in agricultural science at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1965.

After joining the Agronomy Department of the then Welsh Plant Breeding Station, he was posted to conduct upland research at the Pant y Dr Hill Research Centre, near Rhayader.

Comprising of some 30 hectares about 320m above sea level, it was where he did detailed research on the yield and animal performance characteristics. In 1972, he gained a master of science degree for this work.

However, his early academic work was influenced by the philosophy of Sir George Stapledon, the founder of the Welsh Plant Breeding Station. His vision in 1919 was to improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of upland livestock farming in Wales, while maintaining viable rural communities.

In 1983, Mr Davies transferred from Pant y Dr to a newly acquired Upland Research Centre - Bronydd Mawr - comprising 230 hectares and lying between 250m to 400m above sea level. …

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