Farmer and industry representative recognised by NSA Cymru/Wales

28th November 2012

Sheep farmer and industry consultant Catherine Nakielny was presented with the NSA Cymru/Wales Award at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair on Monday (26th November). 

Regional Chairman David Pittendreigh praised her achievements as a farming representative, farmer and Nuffield Scholar.

Catherine's scholarship, titled Maximising returns through reducing methane emissions – an opportunity for the sheep sector, saw her travelled in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, with her findings informing her work with farmers as an independent sheep consultant and her own farming business at Talley in Carmarthenshire.

Catherine stressed the need to promote the efficiency of production and environmental benefits of sheep production when addressing the issue of methane emissions.

She said: “Sheep have an important role in the uplands and the hills in terms of carbon sequestration and biodiversity and the landscape. So it’s about doing that as efficiently as we can and taking a business approach to it.

“The biggest challenge is trying to move the industry forward against the background of CAP reform. We need to promote innovation in the sheep sector and to look forward in order to meet the requirements of farming in the 21st century.

“But it’s a good time for sheep production because sheep are very good at turning forage into meat, which underlines the whole argument with regard to food production and the environment. I think they can be a relatively low cost system of production and they obviously add lots to biodiversity and the environment, also they can be a relatively low capital outlay for new entrants wishing to establish a farming business.”

Catherine worked with Innovis Ltd and industry consultants after studying Animal Science at Aberystwyth and completing a PhD on Breeding Sheep for Resistance to Roundworms. On the family farm in Talley Catherine has been involved with increasing production levels over the last four years.

She is a member of the NSA Welsh Committee, represents Wales on the NSA UK Policy and Technical Committee, is County Chairman of Carmarthenshire FUW and Chair of the FUW’s Animal Health and Welfare Committee. She is also a Wales representative for the Moredun Research Institute and a Farming Connect Rural Leadership Programme participant.