One of the most prestigious prizes in Welsh agriculture, the John Gittins Memorial Award presented by the Royal Welsh Agricultuual Society for outstanding contributions to the Welsh sheep industry, has been won by Carmarthenshire farmer, Dr David Morris of St Clears.
Dr Morris’ contributions to the Welsh sheep industry began from an early age. Born and bred on a Ceredigion farm, he moved to Northumberland where he managed a mixed farm with 1,000 North Country Mules ewes. So impressed with the breed, he initiated the first flock of Welsh Mules when he returned home.
Dr Morris was also instrumental in establishing very successful Suffolk, Texel, Beulah Speckled Sheep, Beltex, Lleyn and Charollais flocks within Wales.
Before returning to farming fulltime Dr Morris was appointed as Founder Principal of the Welsh Agricultural College and Professor of Agriculture at Aberystwyth University, where he had a major influence on Welsh Agriculture by creating an excellent environment for education.
Not only a successful farmer and breeder in both society and national sales and shows, Dr Morris is a well respected judge and steward and has also been involved and held positions in both the Lleyn and Charollais societies.
Gwynne Davies, representing the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, Brian Roberts, from the Welsh Mule Sheepbreeders Association and Paul Wozencraft, from the National Sheep Association Wales made up the panel of judges for this year’s award. They remarked that the quality of all the candidates was very impressive and the task of drawing a shortlist very difficult. “Those who were interviewed were all exceptional candidates; however, we came to a unanimous decision that this year’s very deserving winner is Dr David W Morris.”
Dr Morris will be presented with the award on Monday 1 December at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.