News and Press
Plans for NSA Welsh Sheep 2021 taking shape
A day out in glorious countryside, learning the latest techniques, admiring fine sheep meeting friends and making new acquaintances is something we’re all longing to enjoy. It makes it especially important to put NSA Welsh Sheep in the diary for 18th May 2021. The event will take place at Red House, Aberhafesp, just a five minute drive from Newtown and easily accessible from all parts of Wales, the Borders and beyond.
Red House extends to 550 acres and is run by Huw and Sioned Owen and their son, Dafydd. It rises to 855 feet above sea level, with sweeping views down to the Severn Valley. Huw’s father, Bryn Owen of Sandilands Farm, Tywyn, bought the former dairy farm in 2013 for the family, who also run a Caravan Park and farming business in Tywyn. The farm is now owned by Huw, together with his brother Geraint and sisters Sian and Bethan.
Huw, Sioned and Dafydd run 1200 Texel cross ewes, together with a few Welsh Mules and a hundred pure Texels and 120 Limousin suckler cows, the majority registered. Dafydd who is 22 and who studied at Glynllifon College and Llysfasi College, has his own flock of Beltex ewes. There is also a full time member of staff. The hugely successful and memorable NSA Welsh Sheep 2019 was held at Glynllifon.
The lambing is all indoors, beginning with Dafydd’s 50 ewes at the beginning of February. The Texel cross ewes begin on 1st March. It’s a hectic few months, with the family and staff member all hands on and the help of a student. The aim is to keep the Texel crosses in just for the first few days, but sometimes longer if the weather is bad
The focus is on lamb production and the family are staunch live market supporters, believing they are vital to the future of Welsh farming. Everything is sold at Welshpool, beginning with the pedigree Beltex rams at the end of August, followed by the multi breed sale. They produce a few rams for their own use and a number of rams are also sold directly from the farm. The first batch of finished lambs is sold in June. They continue selling till September, with the lambs all finished.
The family keep back around 250 replacement ewes for the main flock. Dafydd, who is still building up his flock, keeps back most of his Beltex ewe lambs but sometimes sells a few yearlings.
The family are confident in the future of the sheep industry, despite the as yet unknown consequences of Covid 19 and Brexit. They are hopeful that one outcome of the pandemic is that consumers will better appreciate the importance of home produced food.
They are looking forward to hosting NSA Welsh Sheep 2021. Preparation is a continuation of all the work they’ve been doing fencing and gearing the farm to sheep rather than dairy since purchase.
NSA Welsh Sheep organiser Helen Roberts says she is looking forward to working with the Owen family in 2021. The event will bring together the best of what the Welsh Sheep industry and beyond has to offer in what could be a challenging time for the industry following Covid 19 and the outcome of Brexit.