ON-Farm 2016 - the home of practical innovation for profitable production

Jan 25 2016

Welcome to ON-Farm 2016 - Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales’ new menu of grassroots events designed to share and further innovations developed from Wales’ leading agricultural research programme and encourage the widest take-up of on-farm efficiencies.

Throughout the year specialist sessions at regional and national level will be held to impart key findings from the wide-ranging body of research undertaken annually under HCC’s umbrella to provide Welsh farmers with a palate of practical innovations to encourage profitable production.

“HCC operates a portfolio of research projects with a set of highly distinguished industry partners in Wales and across the UK that covers vital areas of supply chain activity from impacts of climate change to animal health and welfare and new technical discoveries and benefits,” said Dr Julie Finch, HCC’s Corporate Strategy and Policy Manager.

“Our increased grassroots activity with farmers across Wales since the autumn of last year has identified an appetite for a more participatory, interactive activity where they can hear, see and understand directly how this often ground-breaking work impacts positively on their businesses - and then utilise its benefits to boost sustainable production,” said Dr. Finch.

HCC will introduce ON-Farm 2016 with a “sampler” seminar for farmers in the south west of Wales on Thursday, February 11, in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr, who will host the day on their college farm, Gelli Aur. “Future events may be issue specific but this is a taster from the roster of research work currently being undertaken,” said Dr. Finch.

“The Tywi Valley Gelli Aur campus is an ideal venue for the first ON-Farm 2016 event as it marries a valuable agricultural academic institution with a 211 hectare college farm. ON-Farm 2016 aims to bring closely together the UK’s cutting edge laboratories with the hands-on, day-to-day needs of Welsh lamb and beef production and build on the considerable combined expertise available.

“In between are HCC’s team of exemplar farmers and scholars with specialist skills and experiences that link research with sustainable production and we will be calling on their contributions within the ON-Farm 2016 agenda,” said Dr. Finch.

ON-Farm 2016 contributors at Gelli Aur include Professor Diana Williams and Joe Angell, of the University of Liverpool, Dr Prysor Williams of Bangor University and Dewi Jones of Innovis Ltd.

Professor Williams is Chair of Veterinary Immunoparasitology and heads the Veterinary Parasitology Research Group.  She is leading and managing an HCC funded liver fluke project research programme to identify new diagnostic techniques for cattle and risk factors on farm. “Unmanaged parasites can mean costs of up to £30 per infected animal and this year’s mild and very wet winter has extended the high-risk-period for liver fluke,” said Dr. Finch.

Joe Angell is a vet who will talk about his HCC funded work to develop new approaches to the treatment and control of Contagious Ovine Digital Dermatitis (CODD). “CODD is recognised by farmers and vets as a serious welfare and economic issue for Welsh farmers and currently affects 35% of farms,” said Dr. Finch. “Joe has used new techniques to allow us to investigate in more detail the strains of bacteria involved in the disease and their susceptibilities to different antibiotics and whether they vary between different farms.” 

Dr Prysor Williams is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management at Bangor University - and a “hands on” farmer. “Prysor has worked closely with HCC on a number of environmental and climate change matters and his contribution will be very important as it will link long term sustainability to on-farm production efficiencies,” said Dr. Finch.

Dewi Jones, of Innovis is one of the leading suppliers of sheep breeding technologies to the UK livestock farming industry. “Hewill dispel the myths about Genomics and genetics and give farmers the latest perspective on breeding for market and consumer tastes,” said Dr. Finch.

If you’d like to attend ON-Farm 2016 at Gelli Aur between 9:30am and 1:00pm on Thursday, February 11 email: or call 01970 625050. 

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