Ceredigion young farmer, Teleri Evans, has been named as winner of the Menter Moch Cymru & Wales YFC Pig Finishing Initiative 2020.

Teleri, who is a member of Pontsian YFC, took the title in a keenly contested competition, with the result announced as part of the Virtual Winter Fair (November 30th & December 1st).

The competition is an annual joint venture between Wales YFC and Menter Moch Cymru and aims to encourage the next generation of pig keepers and to get farmers thinking about pigs as a viable diversification option.

The six finalists in this year’s Menter Moch Cymru & Wales YFC Pig Finishing Initiative were: Angharad Thomas Dyffryn Tywi YFC, Emily Lloyd Llangwyrfon YFC, Ethan Williams Llantrisant YFC, Katie Hughson Howey YFC, Teleri Vaughan Eglwyswrw YFC, and Teleri Evans Pontsian YFC.

In early September, each finalist was given five, eight-week-old Welsh weaners to rear. These were weighed every fortnight to record their growth rate and their feed intake was also recorded. The finalists entered into a bespoke training programme to help them with their venture. 

Designed and delivered by Menter Moch Cymru, the training programme included pig husbandry and welfare, legislation and feed/nutrition, with additional training sessions and monthly zoom meetings on topics such as marketing. The training sessions also featured experienced pig keepers passing on first-hand the knowledge that they have acquired over the years.

The climax of the competition saw the six young farmers battle it out for best finished pig, pairs and overall winner of the competition during the Virtual Winter Fair, with the virtual classes judged by experienced show winning breeder, Ela Roberts from Pwllheli.

Menter Moch Cymru & Wales YFC Pig Finishing Initiative 2020 winner, Teleri Evans, said she was “over the moon” with her win, and would encourage “anyone to take part in the initiative next year.”

She said, “I’ve enjoyed the experience so much. I’m extremely grateful to Menter Moch Cymru for providing the pigs, and for the support I received from them. I could just pick up the phone, and they were always there to help. I’d also like to thank my partner, Carwyn, for all his help. If anyone has any doubts, thinking that they wouldn’t be able to do this, just go for it. I’ve enjoyed the experience so much.”

Teleri’s plans include selling the pork from their winning pigs, as well as building a future in the pig industry.

Said Teleri,  who lives near Llandysul, “As keeping pigs has fitted in so well into our life here, we’ve decided to expand and buy more pigs.”

“Many congratulations to Teleri, and to all this year’s finalists – who have worked so hard throughout the competition,” said Melanie Cargill, Menter Moch Cymru Project Manager. 

“Covid-19 restrictions meant we had to make some adaptations to the usual  Menter Moch Cymru & Wales YFC Pig Finishing Initiative programme. However, there was no shortage of dedication and enthusiasm from the finalists, who I am sure have a great future ahead as pig producers.”

Wales YFC’s Clare James, Rural Affairs Chairman said, “We’d like to congratulate all the finalists, and especially Teleri, on a fantastic achievement in an exceptional year. And we look forward working with Menter Moch Cymru again next year to promote pig keeping as a future enterprise to our members.”

Mared Jones, Head of Operations at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, said, “The Menter Moch Cymru & Wales YFC Pig Finishing Initiative final is an important part of the virtual package we put together for this year’s Winter Fair. And we congratulate Teleri, the finalists, and all those involved in making the event possible.”

Menter Moch Cymru is funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.