‘Plan for the future and never stop learning’ are the watchwords of two busy female farmers from North Wales who are committed to their own personal development.

And it has proved an award-winning doctrine which both are putting to good use in their respective family farm businesses.

Winner of Lantra’s Farming Connect Over 40 award Iorwen Jones helps her husband, Eifion, run their beef and sheep holding at Ysgeibion, near Ruthin, while Under 40 winner bio-chemist, Cheryl Reeves, farms a beef enterprise with her husband, Andrew, near Bangor on Dee.

They were presented with their winner’s certificates by rural affairs secretary Lesley Griffiths at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

The cabinet secretary congratulated the winners on their outstanding achievements saying she was particularly encouraged that many farmers now consider increasing their business management and financial skills as important as gaining new technical and practical skills.

Suggesting that many farmers put a huge amount of effort into their land and stock, but without sound business practices in place, without achieving its full potential Ms Griffiths said: “Over the last 12 months, Lantra has seen a significant increase in the number of applications for business development courses which augurs well for the future viability and resilience of farm businesses in Wales, as they prepare for the opportunities and challenges of exiting the EU.”

Both Iorwen and Cheryl juggle the demands of helping out with day to day farming activities with off-farm careers and family life, but they agree that attending Lantra courses on business topics including business planning, marketing and development, financial recording and VAT has transformed the way in which they tackle the challenging volume of paperwork which goes hand in hand with running a successful farm business.

Both women were nominated for the awards by Julie Thomas, director of Simply the Best Training Consultancy, the approved Farming Connect training company which provided all their business training.

The pair were among a number of winners of awards from Lantra at the Winter Fair.