Menter Moch Cymru & Wales YFC Pig Finishing Initiative

Menter Moch Cymru is an initiative that aims to support and develop the pig sector in Wales. Funded by Welsh Government through the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, the project has partnered with the Wales YFC to provide a unique and exciting opportunity for its members to gain hands on experience of pig keeping and a chance of developing a new business venture.

As a stepping stone into the industry, six winners will be selected and provided with 5 weaners each. Mentoring support & training will be provided to develop the skills required to establish and manage this new enterprise. From practical advice on rearing through to business skills such as marketing. Participants will have an opportunity to develop a range of transferrable skills.

The participants will also take part in a new and exclusive pig class at the RWAS Winter Fair.

Pigs can be kept in various management systems. A general-purpose building or a parcel of land that is currently being under-utilised could easily be converted for pig keeping with little capital investment and could provide an alternative income.

Menter Moch Cymru & Wales YFC are committed to delivering the initiative in 2020, whilst abiding by restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. As such, alterative arrangements have been made to some elements of the initiative (e.g. potential online training as opposed to on-farm). Participants will be notified of any further changes.

How to enter:

Stage 1 – Written Application

The application window opened on 27th April 2020. The written application should describe what factors need to be considered when setting up a pig finishing enterprise on your farm, breed selection, feeding, housing, health and welfare and marketing. Please click below to access the application form.

The closing date for written applications is 10:00 on Friday 29th May 2020. Entries are to be emailed to mentermochcymru@menterabusnes.co.uk.

Stage 2 – Interview/farm assessment

Applications will be marked independently by the judges, which include representatives from Menter Moch Cymru and Wales YFC). All applicants will be notified no later that the 22nd June whether they have been successful or not. Those that have the highest marks from the application stage will be asked to take part in the second assessment stage.

Those short-listed will be invited to take part in a live video call (Stage 2). Those shortlisted will have an opportunity to discuss the elements of their application in more detail and must demonstrate that their site is suitable for rearing pigs.

If a live video call is not possible, a pre-recorded video may be sufficient, subject to prior approval from the competition judges. Based on the results from Stage 1 & 2, the highest scoring 6 applicants will be selected to take part in the 2020 Menter Moch Cymru & Wales YFC Pig Finishing Imitative. The public announcement will be made in the summer (details tbc).

The Prize

Each participant will receive 5 piglets of their chosen breed. In addition to mentoring and a comprehensive training package. Participating in the training will be a prerequisite of receiving the piglets and depending on what restrictions are in place regarding social gatherings at the time the training sessions may take place online.

It is hoped that the initiative will conclude with the participants taking part in the exclusive pig class at the RWAS Winter Fair where they will exhibit one of the pigs supplied and compete against the others for the title of best finished pig. Participants may also have the opportunity to sell their exhibiting pig during the RWAS livestock auction during the event. Please note, this may be subject to change based on the Covid-19 outbreak.

Provisional timetable of events*

DateActivityNotes/Location
27th April 2020Competition Launched
29th May 2020Closing date for written applications. Applications to be emailed to mentermochcymru@menterabusnes.co.uk no later than 10:00am.
22nd June – 5th July 2020Short listed applicants interviewed by   judgesShortlisted applicants invited to take part in a live video call or provide a video including a summary of their application and showing where the pigs would be kept on farm
8th – 15th July 2020Finalists notified
July / August 2020Public announcement of the 2020 winnersDetails tbc
August 2020Training on pig husbandry and the current legislation for pig keepersColeg Meirion-Dwyfor Glynllifon   if social gatherings are permitted or alternatively online
August 2020Training on pig handling, show preparation and pig feed/nutritionTo be determined when location of winning applicants known and will be dependent on whether social gatherings are permitted. The course could be delivered online.
August / September 2020Pigs delivered on farmDependent on restrictions
October 2020Training session covering, marketing (branding and developing a marketing strategy), legislation of selling pork, and the Welfare of Pigs in Transit competency test.To be held in Aberystwyth or online depending on what restrictions are in place regarding social gatherings
30th November – 1st December 2020Exclusive Menter Moch Cymru & Wales YFC Live Pig ClassRWAS Winter Fair
1st December 2020Exhibited pigs to be auctionedRWAS Winter Fair

*Dates may be subject to change

Who can take part?

The following criteria must be met in order to participate in the scheme:

  • A Wales YFC member
  • The YFC member must live on a holding that is registered in Wales and on which the pigs will be reared
  • Aged between 16 and 26 years old
  • The YFC member will be the main contact and will be responsible for participating in the development programme & rearing the pigs
  • Applicants must be new to pig keeping. The individual must not have taken part in a commercial pig enterprise previously.

Terms & Conditions

  • Closing date for entries is 10:00am on the 29th May 2020.
  • Entries will be considered by a panel of judges who will draw up a shortlist. Those shortlisted will be invited to demonstrate that the facilities are suited to the business plan they submitted.
  • The prize will be five weaned piglets for each of the highest scoring six entrants.
  • Applicants must provide details of three alternatives pig breeds/types as per the application form. The project will aim to supply the stated breed preference subject to availability. If it is not possible to source suitable pigs from the first breed of choice then pigs from the second or third choice outlined will be sourced.
  • Each winner will receive ongoing mentoring and support from MMC development officers
  • Participants will be responsible for rearing the pigs to industry standards (e.g. ensuring health and welfare requirements are met). Guidance on this will be provided.
  • Participants will be responsible for providing the food for the pigs and ensuring the diet is adequate and that fresh water is available at all times
  • Strict biosecurity measure and protocols must be observed
  • In the event of pigs becoming sick the applicant must seek veterinary advice immediately and inform their MMC mentor
  • The winners will receive the funds raised through the subsequent sale of the finished pigs/pork
  • The purpose of the initiative is to provide the participants with an opportunity of developing a commercial pig herd and their own business venture. Therefore, the finished pigs cannot be kept for their own domestic consumption.
  • The six winning competitors will be required to record the progress of the piglets and submit information on weight gain, health and feed intake along with photographs to their MMC mentor on a monthly basis.
  • Participants must participate in the exclusive live pig class at the RWAS Winter Fair
  • In addition to the set compulsory training programme all participants will be invited to attend Menter Moch Cymru’s open meetings and training sessions.
  • Menter Moch Cymru reserve the right to visit the pigs at any point throughout the competition and take appropriate action where required (subject to restrictions regarding Covid-19)
  • Participants must consent to being included in PR activity for the initiative
  • The YFC member must reside in Wales 
  • The pigs must be reared on a holding that is registered in Wales

For further details please email mentermochcymru@menterabusnes.co.uk or phone 07397 068739.