AS Pembrokeshire officially took up its role as Royal Welsh feature county for the coming year, prominent cattle farmer, Mr Seimon Thomas FRAgS, was officially elected as the RWAS president for 2019.

It is during the society’s annual council meeting, held this year at the showground in December, that the society’s feature counties begin and end their term-of-office.

Following in the footsteps of the 2018 feature county of Montgomeryshire, it is now the turn of Pembrokeshire to take up the mantle for forthcoming year of 2019.

Seimon Thomas was proposed by the chair of the Pembrokeshire advisory committee, Meurig James.

Seimon, his wife Eleanor, children Hanna and Sion and the whole family, are well known throughout the agricultural industry as leaders in the dairy industry.

As the third generation to farm at Drysgolgoch, Llwyndrain, north Pembrokeshire, the family run the highly successful Drisgol herd. With 700 cows and followers, it is the largest dairy shorthorn herd in the UK.

In accepting the presidential role, Seimon said “As a four-year-old boy showing dairy shorthorn cattle at Llanelwedd with my father and grandfather, never did I dream of one day being afforded the honour and privilege by the Pembrokeshire agricultural community of being elected their president of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society in 2019.

“Having had the opportunity to judge at the four royal shows of the United Kingdom has been a great privilege but being elected president of the best show of all is the greatest honour.

“I will preside over such a successful society, which has over the years been led by such a wonderful team, which I am now looking forward to working alongside. On behalf of Pembrokeshire we look forward to an exciting and prosperous 2019 for the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.”

Pembrokeshire’s preparations began in earnest 12 months ago, under the excellent guidance of the advisory committee. With dozen of events having already taken place, the fundraising efforts of the busy county are now in full swing.

Also taking over the reins last week was Miss Emily Davies. Emily, introduced by Mr Edward Perkins, president of the society in 2007 when Pembrokeshire was last feature county, was officially elected as the society’s lady ambassador for 2019.

Emily, along with other, hardworking volunteers, have been working hard over the past 12 months to design and launch the range of Pembrokeshire merchandise as well as organise and run numerous fundraising events.

Together with a dedicated team, Emily will be embarking on a week-long Cows on Tour Roadshow, finishing at the Smallholding and Countryside Festival at the showground on May 18 and 19. Volunteers will literally be bringing the farmyard to the school yard, taking over schools for a whole day to speak to youngsters about where their food comes from.

Roadshow activities will include a variety of hands‐on activities inside and outside the classroom, with the aim of telling the farming story, encouraging local communities to get involved, raising awareness of the RWAS and raising money for two farming charities; RABI and DPJ Foundation.

With many more events planned for 2019, the committee is also studiously working behind the scenes organising the Royal Welsh Grassland and Muck event on June 6 at Cardeeth Farm near Carew by permission of Hugh and David James, Langdon Mill.

“We have been overwhelmed and feel very blessed with the tremendous support received in Pembrokeshire from the five regional committees, the Young Members and the Ladies Committee.” explained Seimon.

“Our Pembrokeshire appeal fund will be used to start on planning and construction of a new Welsh Exhibition Centre, to be a flexible facility offering a variety of options to all industries of Wales and further afield. This building will also provide new offices for our hard-working staff at Llanelwedd.”

It will be the fifth time Pembrokeshire has been the feature county since the Royal Welsh Show settled permanently at the showground in 1963 and will include the centenary Royal Welsh Show.