A husband and wife partnership, Mr Gwyn and Mrs Ann Evans of Bettws Hall, near Newtown, Powys have been awarded the 2015 Sir Bryner Jones Memorial Trophy, one of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s most prestigious prizes.
Since 1957 the award has been made annually to someone from a different branch of the farming industry who has reached the highest level of achievement in the chosen sector. This year the judges were looking at businesses who were actively involved in the production of poultry on a commercial entity and demonstrating innovation adding value to the economy of Wales.
“We had the privilege of visiting eight businesses from across Wales and it was extremely gratifying to visit entrepreneurs in the Welsh poultry industry and to witness how the landscape had changed over the last decade or so.” said the judges, Mr Hywel Lloyd and Mr Richard Gwilliam FRICS.
“We were encouraged by the standard of husbandry on every farm and were particularly interested in the contribution made by businesses to the local economy.”
Bettws Hall is a 150 acre farm, which was purchased by the Evans family in 1986. A passion for hunting and shooting led to a diversification of the farm in 1988 resulting in what is today a very large business producing seven million pheasant and partridge chicks per annum.
1.7 million of these chicks are reared on 42 rearing farms and delivered as pullets at seven weeks of age to estates and commercial organisations. The business employs a total of 140 full time employees and the same number of part time assistants; all employees, except two, are employed locally.
“The modern hatchery is fully automated and epitomises the professionalism which is generated at Bettws Hall.” added Mr Lloyd and Mr Gwilliam. “The presentation was of a very high standard and was very pleasant to be engaged in; a highly sophisticated family firm with a major emphasis on the local community.”
Sir Bryner Jones helped shape the direction of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society for 50 years and was Agricultural Commissioner for Wales and subsequently became Welsh Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture. He was President of the Royal Welsh in 1954, the society’s golden jubilee year.