ONE of the most prestigious prizes in Welsh agriculture, the John Gittins Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the Welsh sheep industry, has been won this year by Mr Clwyd Hughes from Denbigh.
Mr Clwyd Hughes helped introduce the Welsh Mule ewe to Wales and in doing so, helped to raise the standard of breeding ewe production and the quality of finished lamb as the Welsh Mule rapidly became the foundation of lamb production systems on many Welsh farms.
Mr Hughes has also highlighted the advantages of breeds of terminal sires and was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural Societies for his pioneering work on livestock production where he had focused on careful housing, cost control and grassland management.
Alwyn Rees, representing the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, Kevin Parry, from the Welsh Mule Sheepbreeders Association and Tim Ward, from the National Sheep Association Wales made up the panel of judges for the award.
Interviewing a shortlist of three candidates, the judges agreed that all three were equally worthy of the award. “It wasn’t an easy decision with the high quality of candidates, but we finally agreed that the John Gittins Memorial Award should be given to Mr Clwyd Hughes in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the Welsh Sheep Industry.” remarked the judges.
Mr Hughes has promoted the farming industry widely and held numerous farm walks and open days at Llangwyfan Farm over the years, including an Open Day for NSA Wales. He has hosted numerous farm visits for fellow farmers, consumers, agricultural students, politicians, government officials and foreign visitors from countries as diverse as Spain, Canada, Italy and Scandinavia.
During a busy life, he has been a member and supporter of the RWAS Livestock Committee and Council, served on MLC’s Regional Liaison Group, FUW Committees, the Secretary of State for Wales’ Agricultural Advisory Panel and the Executive Committee of the Welsh Mule Sheep Breeders Association among many others.
Mr Hughes was elected President of the Welsh Mule Sheep Breeders Association in recognition of his contribution and has also been Chairman of the Denbigh and Flint Show’s Livestock Committee and served as the Show’s Chief Sheep Superintendent for many years.
Although Mr Hughes has stepped back from full farming duties now, he is still very active.
He will be presented with the award on Monday 26 November at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.