As the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s flagship accolade, the Sir Bryner Jones Award is highly coveted every year.
Unlike previous years, the winner of this year’s award has bene kept under wraps until yesterday, (Monday 18 July), the first day of the Royal Welsh Show, creating a real sense of excitement and anticipation that befits such a prestigious award.
This year awarded to the person in Wales who has consistently shown outstanding achievement in Grassland management and has served as an inspiration to fellow farmers and the younger generation. The choice of Grassland is especially fitting this year as the Federation of Welsh Grassland Society’s celebrates its Golden Jubilee.
With all three finalists and their families eagerly awaiting to hear who had won, the society’s chair of council, Mr David Lewis announced that the winner of the 2016 Sir Bryner Jones Award is Mr Tom Tudor MBE FRAgS of Llysun, Llanerfyl, Welshpool, Powys.
Tom’s farm is regarded as an excellent example of the development of efficient grassland management in the upland areas. He won the Wales Grassland Competition in 1978, the Wales Silage Competition on three occasions and the UK BGS National Silage Competition in 1983 and 1995. Farmers and researchers from all over the world have visited the farm over the years to learn of his exceptional grassland and animal husbandry skills. In addition to the grassland competitions Tom has won very many other awards during his lifetime, including honours recognition and he has shared his knowledge very widely through serving on many national committees including the Governing Body of the Grassland Research Institute at Hurley, amongst others.
On receiving the award, Tom exclaimed how unbelievable it had been to even make the top three finalists, but knowing that he has won would “take a while to sink in”.
Tom went on to thank his “tremendous wife, great children, good workers and his good luck for being able to farm in a way that has been recognised nationally by this prime Royal Welsh competition.”
Sir Bryner Jones helped shape the direction of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society for 50 years. He was head of the Department of Agriculture and Aberystwyth College in 1907 and went on to be one of the leading agricultural education figures in Wales. He was a person of influence in Welsh Agriculture, becoming both Commissioner and Chair of the Agricultural Council for Wales and subsequently became Welsh Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Sir Bryner Jones, who received a Knighthood in 1947, was the Royal Welsh Honorary Show Director from 1908 – 10 and was the society’s Chairman of Council from 1944 – 53. He became the society’s President in 1954, in the society’s 50th year and tragically died in the December of this year.
The first Sir Bryner Jones award was presented in 1957 by his daughter and 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.
For more information about The Royal Welsh Show visit: www.rwas.co.uk