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FUW leader steps down after 15 years’ loyal service

Bala beef and sheep farmer Emyr Jones has decided to stand down as the Farmers’ Union of Wales’ president following 15 years’ loyal service to the organisation at national level.

Emyr Jones

Emyr Jones

Bala beef and sheep farmer Emyr Jones has decided to stand down as the Farmers’ Union of Wales’ president following 15 years’ loyal service to the organisation at national level.

Mr Jones, a family farms champion, revealed his decision at the union’s annual general meeting in Aberystwyth today (Monday June 15).

He was Meirionnydd county chairman from 1998 to ­2000 when he was elected to represent North Wales on the union’s central finance and organisation committee. He was elected national vice president in 2002, deputy president in 2003 and president in 2011.

He told county delegates today: “Following the major reorganisation during the past year of the management of both the FUW and FUW Insurance, I believe we are now an organisation that can look forward with confidence to serving the Welsh agricultural industry for another 60 years.

“Therefore, after serving as your leader for the past four years and as deputy president before that for eight years, I think it is time that I took a back seat and allowed the union to be led by a new face who can deal with the challenges that continue to confront the industry.

“I am confident that, whoever takes over from me, will do a fine job and can count on my full support.

“I also thank all the staff and members of the union for their support over the past 12 years and I offer my heartfelt thanks to all those people, both inside and outside our industry, for their valuable help through all the good, and sometimes difficult, times.

“Finally, I wish the members of the new presidential team all the best in their future efforts to sustain the FUW for many more years to come.”

Mr Jones is married with three children. A Welsh speaker, he was born and brought up on the family farm Rhiwaedog, Rhosygwaliau, near Bala.

The farm extends to 360 acres, with a further 300 acres of rented land, and carries a herd of 60 pedigree Welsh Black suckler cows and 1,700 breeding sheep.

He is a prominent member of many organisations including the Welsh Mountain Sheep Society, Welsh Black Cattle Society, and is a director of Meirionnydd County Show.

He is a former chairman of Meirionnydd Grassland Society and has been a member since the society was founded 30 years ago.

His contribution to agriculture was recognised when he became an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies, and received the honour of Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies in 2001.

Rhiwaedog has won several accolades over many years including the Royal Welsh Show Farm Buildings Facilities Award and the Snowdonia National Park Society Farming and Landscape Award.

Its main achievement was in 2008 when the farm won the British Grassland Societies National Grassland and Management competition in Wales and went forward to win the UK title.

Mr Jones also devotes a great deal of time to community life, being a former chairman of his community council. He is active with his local show at Llangower and is also a deacon of his local chapel.

He is passionately committed to the principles on which the FUW was established and frequently speaks on behalf of the union on radio and television.

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