As farm businesses prepare for a winter with big gaps in their fodder supplies, three Welsh farming charities which provide support to farmers in crisis are throwing a spotlight on the support they offer by uniting at a joint conference in Carmarthen.

Tir Dewi, The DJP Foundation and RABI believe this winter could be the worst some sectors of the farming industry have faced since the 2007 foot and mouth outbreak and are expecting a surge in calls to their helplines.

The charities provide a range of support systems and they will come together at Carmarthen martground on October 29 for a conference that will draw attention to what is available.

The conference has been named ‘1 in 4’ to reflect the scale of mental health issues in the farming community.

The keynote speaker is Ffermio presenter Alun Elidyr, who has spoken openly about his own struggles with depression; the conference chair is Dafydd Jones of Wales YFC.

Gareth Davies, of Tir Dewi, says farmers often don’t know who to turn to when they are struggling.

“We want to get the message across that it doesn’t matter which of the three charities they contact – Tir Dewi, The DJP Foundation or RABI – we can all help,’’ he says.

“We all do slightly different things but we each provide support and work closely with each other to make sure the caller is getting the specific help he or she needs.’’

With the Welsh Government setting aside £500,000 to fund the work of farming charities, it is acknowledged that this winter is going to be a tough one for farmers.

The three charities are hoping that in addition to representatives from farming unions and industries allied to agriculture, farmers will attend also.

The conference will take place in the mart café between 10am and 1pm.

“Lunch will be provided so, to help with our catering arrangements, we would be grateful if those who are able to attend could get in touch with Linda Jones at RABI to confirm their attendance,’’ says Mr Davies.

Linda can be contacted on 01559 364850 or by emailing