BUDDING agricultural students and established farmers alike convened on a mountain farm in Meirionnydd to discuss the future of the industry with a national chief.

NFU president Minette Batters paid a visit to Brynllech Uchaf, near Llanuwchllyn, for a meeting with NFU Cymru Meirionnydd members hosted by NFU Cymru Meirionnydd county chairman Rhodri Jones.

The meeting and special guest attracted a large farming audience to Brynllech, with members of NFU Cymru’s next generation groups and the NFU Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme sitting alongside members who had been attending NFU Cymru meetings for more than five decades.

Agriculture students from nearby Ysgol Godre'r Berwyn in Bala were also invited to the event and had their own opportunity to ask questions to the NFU president.

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Mrs Batters pointed to the work of the NFU and NFU Cymru in drawing together a petition of more than one million public signatures, which was presented to MPs highlighting the strength of feeling among consumers that UK food standards should not be undermined by post-Brexit trade deals.

She stated the union would continue to lobby for future trade deals to be subject to parliamentary scrutiny and that the impacts on the home market were assessed beforehand. She said that it was crucial the industry maintains the momentum and continues to reinforce messages about the high quality, nutritious, climate friendly food produced in Wales and across the rest of Great Britain.

The NFU president also took the opportunity to discuss the shifting policy landscape across England and Wales.

The meeting discussed the proposed make-up of the Sustainable Farming Initiative/ELMs and how this differed from the proposals put forward by Welsh Government as it continues to shape its Sustainable Farming Scheme plans.

At the end of the meeting NFU Cymru Meirionnydd county chairman Rhodri Jones presented a hamper to Mrs Batters as a thank-you from the county.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Jones said: “We were delighted to have such a great turnout at Brynllech for this special county meeting.

"Minette Batters is someone who has really helped to propel farming higher up the public and political agenda and so were pleased to be able to welcome local agriculture students from Ysgol Godre'r Berwyn along to hear this inspiring speaker.

"It was also great that we had representatives from all three groups of NFU Cymru’s next generation programme in attendance for the meeting.

“The next few years of policy design are going to be pivotal in dictating the future of farming in England and Wales.

"With so many young people representing the future of the industry in attendance at this meeting, it was a timely reminder of why we need to have a strong lobbying presence to champion a productive, profitable and progressive future for our industry.

"We are grateful to have Minette Batters working alongside our NFU Cymru president Aled Jones and deputy president Abi Reader representing the interests of our businesses and the wider industry.”