A WELSH dairy farmer has been honoured at the annual NFU Conference for his dedication and commitment to NFU Cymru and farming in Wales.
Roger Lewis, who farms at Cosheston, Pembrokeshire, was announced as the Welsh winner of the Meurig Raymond Award at NFU Conference in Birmingham on Tuesday 21st February. The award is named after former NFU President Meurig Raymond, whose family also farms in Pembrokeshire.
A passionate and energetic ambassador for the industry, Roger was instrumental in the creation of NFU Cymru’s TB Focus Group, which he now leads as chairman. The group has engaged with various key stakeholders across government and the farming industry, discussing improvements that could be made to the delivery of bovine TB policy in Wales. The group has produced a report which has been presented to Welsh Government with several recommendations on issues such as TB testing, communication, biosecurity and alternative routes for farms under TB restriction to finish or sell their cattle.
Roger was also part of Welsh Government’s TB Task and Finish Group which considers how Welsh Government can improve engagement and communication on bovine TB.
Roger has also given evidence on behalf of NFU Cymru to the inquiry on bovine TB carried out by the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs (ETRA) Committee in the Senedd, in which he eloquently outlined the concerns of the industry with several proposals put forward by Welsh Government to refresh the Bovine TB Eradication Programme, most notably in relation to possible changes to the compensation regime. Roger sits on the bTB subgroup of the GB Calf Strategy and is also at the forefront of a pilot TB project being developed by a group of farmers and vets in Pembrokeshire.
A former NFU Cymru Pembrokeshire County Chairman, Roger has used opportunities such as media interviews, political meetings at the Pembrokeshire County Show and NFU Cymru meetings to powerfully and effectively lobby on several other important issues for farmers in Pembrokeshire and the rest of Wales. He has represented the industry’s concerns over the impact of new water quality regulations on Welsh farming, as well as championing the importance of Welsh Government’s Agriculture (Wales) Bill placing an emphasis on food security.
Speaking after his award win, Roger Lewis said: “I am very humbled to have been honoured with this award. NFU Cymru has a tremendous wealth of dedicated members and staff working together for a better future for Welsh farmers and I am proud to play a small part in the union’s wider lobbying work.”
NFU Cymru Head of Operations Kevin Owen said: “Roger is an example of someone who really does go the extra mile for NFU Cymru and Welsh farming.
“In particular, Roger has been a fantastic driving force in taking forward NFU Cymru’s lobbying work on bovine TB – an area of high importance to our members with the disease still impacting all too many farming businesses. The degree of knowledge and professionalism that Roger brings to his chairing of the NFU Cymru TB Focus Group is second to none and his determination is helping to lobby for real change to the bovine TB picture in Wales.”
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