Saturday, 24 October 2009

Lifelong service to dairy sector earns farmer top award

A Carmarthenshire farmer was this week rewarded for his diligent lifelong service to the Welsh dairy industry.

Bryan Thomas was presented with the Farmers' Union of Wales-HSBC Bank plc award for outstanding service to the Welsh dairy industry during the Welsh Dairy Show at Carmarthen.

United Counties Agricultural and Hunters Society chairman and a member of the judging panel Lynn Davies said: "Bryan's contribution to the dairy industry in Wales and the UK throughout his lifetime is second to none and I am delighted that he has won this highly prestigious award."

Mr Thomas of Gelli Onnen, Cwmffrwd, Carmarthen, has been a board member of the National Milk Records for 15 years and is currently the chairman of the Dairy Development Steering Committee. He also sits on the Assembly's Dairy Strategy Group.

He is a past Council member of the Holstein Friesian Society and is a founder member of the Welsh Dairy Show.

At the 2005 Royal Welsh Show, he received a Fellowship from the Royal Agricultural Society for his services to agriculture.

But most people would associate Mr Thomas with the highly respected pedigree Holstein Gelliddu herd which he and his father established during the 1950s.

The Gelliddu herd has won many herd competitions and events within the South Wales British Friesian Society, Holstein South Wales Society and the National Milk Records.

Mr Thomas now farms with his son Gareth and the herd continues to be one of the leading pedigree Holstein herds in Carmarthenshire.

Bryan is a well known prestigious judge at many national events. He also has strong links with the Carmarthenshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs due to his contribution to St Peter's YFC.

He is the first person to receive two prestigious awards within the county as, in 2006, he won the FUW/Sioe Sir Gâr award for outstanding services to agriculture in Carmarthenshire.

Photograph: From left, Nigel Davies, HSBC Wales Regional Agriculture Banking Manager; Elin Jones, Minister for Rural Affairs; Bryan Thomas, winner of the lifelong services to the Welsh dairy industry award and Gareth Vaughan, Farmers’ Union of Wales President.


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