At 24, Gwen Price is already proving that she has the drive and expertise to build an excellent farming enterprise.
Studying for her BSc in agriculture and then her masters, she also worked full time for Wynnstay. A multiple award winner, Gwen now farms in her own right as well as working as a Farming Connect development officer for Brecknock.
Growing up with three older brother triplets, she has been involved in farming as long as she can remember and is now taking on more responsibility in both administration for the family business and stock management. Gwen has her own 20ha (50acre) rented unit just 10 minutes from home. Sitting at 130m (420ft) above sea level she runs a flock of 100 Suffolk cross speckled face ewes, 48 Suffolk/speckle yearlings and 50 Suffolk ewe lambs. She also rears British Blue cross and Hereford cross calves to sell on, either as stores or in-calf heifers.
Gwen’s lambs are sold to nearby Dunbia through the Wales YFC Lamb initiative which provides an extra £1 per head if lambs are hitting the required scheme specifications. She finds both the maternal and more traditional terminal sire traits in the Suffolk suit her enterprise. In December 2019, her 22 Suffolk ewes put to a Texel ram, scanned at 200% and 100 speckled ewes by a Suffolk ram scanned at 163%. Lambing in February, her first batch sold on 22 May 2020 and the last batch went on 29th June with an overall average price of £93. The average of lamb weight and grades for 2020 were:
|WEIGHT PER GRADE Kg|
With a strong focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) Gwen used Welsh Government funding to buy an electronic lamb weigher so she can monitor weight gains at least every fortnight which provides evidence of weight gain and helps identify top performing lambs. She examines her cost of production in fine detail and produces lambs from a low cost system based on tetraploid HRG, white clover and rape for high energy – high protein forage.
” I wanted a commercial flock producing what the market wants in the best way possible”Gwen Price
Gwen’s goal is to produce lambs and heifers as cost effectively and efficiently as possible, making the best of what she has rather than stretching herself financially in the short to medium term by trying to expand acreage or stock numbers too soon. She plans to increase her flock over the next 5 years by selecting and keeping the best ewe lambs for breeding stock.