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Harper Adams student establishes pedigree sheep enterprise

A young farmer from Welshpool has taken a side step from his family's commercial business to establish his own pedigree sheep flock, which has already led to success at livestock sales.


Second year Harper Adams REALMie, Joe Powell, been named ‘featured student of the month’ – chosen from around 2,000 students

A young farmer from Welshpool has taken a side step from his family’s commercial business to establish his own pedigree sheep flock, which has already led to success at livestock sales.

20-year-old Joe Powell rears pedigree Charollias rams from his farm at home, which also boasts a 700-head commercial sheep flock and 120-head dairy herd.

Joe, who studies BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management (REALM) at Harper Adams University, has since seen one of his animals crowned the overall champion at Welshpool ram sale, and also went on to achieve first and second prizes with the overall highest average and top price.

Joe, a former Walford College student, said: “My stock is pedigree but reared in a commercial manner so that they are not only quality sheep, but highly functional too.

“The Charollais breed produces good lambs and there is a high demand for the right animals as the conversion rates are favourable.

“My ultimate aim with the business is to produce quality pedigree tups that will last. I’m happy with the size of the flock, which is currently 20, as it’s manageable and I can combine it with my university studies.”

At home, Joe lives with his mum, dad, brother and two sisters – all of whom are interested in farming. Joe’s older sister Sarah also studies at Harper Adams, but is enrolled on the BSc (Hons) Animal Science degree.

A keen member of Montgomery YFC, Joe enjoys stock judging and hopes that his REALM degree will help him to achieve his dream of becoming a livestock auctioneer.

Joe added: “My course is good preparation for becoming an auctioneer as the placement year in industry will allow me to gain valuable experience. I have already secured a place working for Norman Lloyd, who as well as being chartered surveyors, are also auctioneers.

“I love the markets as it’s really diverse work and no two days are the same. I think it takes good people skills to be a successful auctioneer.”

Joe chose to enrol at Harper Adams purely based on the ability to chase his career aspirations, and believes that the social side is more of an added bonus.

He said: “Harper Adams is a great university, it is always developing to stay in line with industry standards and the lecturers have practical backgrounds which means that their teaching reflects real life.

“Everyone is extremely friendly and supportive and the social side is good, but really I came to university to achieve my degree.

“I’ve always wanted to work in agriculture. There was no other option!”


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