23 July 2015

Wales Woman Farmer Award winner announced

Ceri Ratcliffe a beef and sheep farmer from Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, has today been crowned NFU Cymru / Principality Building Society Wales Woman Farmer of the Year at the Royal Welsh Show.

Ceri and her husband farm 180 acres. Andy has a plant hire business so Ceri looks after the stock and their two young children. Although they started with just 18 sheep when they first got married, they now have 600 breeding ewes and 100 beef cattle. Ceri, who came into farming after getting married, is well known in the area as she attends the local markets and has taken first prize for her lambs at the Christmas fat stock sales. Ceri also takes on students at the farm, trains sheep dogs and is a delivery representative for a dog food company – in her spare time! 

The runners up for this year’s Award are Joanna Rees and Nerys Edwards, both from Carmarthenshire.

Joanna Rees, Gilfach Farm, Llangadog, Carmarthenshire. Joanna undertakes all the daily tasks both outside on the organic farm, including the tractor work, and in the house, which includes the paperwork.  Joanna is a member of a number of sheep societies including the Lleyn, Brecknock Hill Cheviot and Llandovery Whiteface hill society. She is involved in the Wales and Borders pig breeders association and the Welsh sheepdog society.

Nerys Edwards, Croesasgwrn Farm, Llangyndeyrn, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire. Nerys farms with her husband Roy and they have four sons. Nerys’ time is split between calf rearing, paperwork, milking, tractor work and general farm work. She also runs a successful ‘occasion cake’ business – usually after the boys have gone to bed! Now that milk prices have plummeted Nerys also recently took on a two and a half month contract completing Single Farm Payment forms for another company.  

NFU Cymru Deputy President, John Davies, said, “All three of the shortlisted finalists were of a very high standard. All three have one thing in common – complete commitment to the farms they work on and to the industry as a whole. Ceri is a shining example for the title Wales Woman Farmer of the Year.”

Pat Ashman, Sponsorship and Events Manager, Principality Building Society said, “It’s a real pleasure to be involved with the judging of such an exciting competition. When choosing this year’s finalists the panel of judges looked at a number of different criteria including their part in making the farm a successful economic unit and their contribution to improving the role of women in farming. Ceri was nominated by her mother-in-law, who is quite clearly very proud of the fact that Ceri met all of our Award criteria and surpassed our expectations. She will make a very good ambassador for all the other women who farm in Wales.”

The winner received a Welsh crystal glass engraved fruit bowl and £500, while the two runners-up received £100 each.

Published: 23/07/2015