A MALPAS farmer has been crowned Wales woman farmer of the year at the Royal Wales Winter Fair.
Dairy farmer Barbara Hughes, from Ivy House Farm, Malpas, said she was both delighted and surprised to be announced the winner.
Barbara said: “The two other ladies who were in the final were just lovely and both had made a huge contribution to the industry. I didn’t think I would win.”
Now in its 14th year, the competition aims to celebrate the often forgotten contribution women make to Welsh farming.ŠBarbara isn’t from a farming background but was so interested in agriculture she went on every course available 20 years ago from learning to AI to foot trimming.
A mother of three, she ran the farm by herself for more than 28 years while her husband worked outside agriculture. Barbara is currently the national dairy chairman for the Women Food and Farming Union, sits on the RWAS advisory committee and is the first lady vice chairman of NFU Cymru Wrexham branch. Barbara was told it was the work and effort she put in when Dairy Farmers of Britain (DFOB) collapsed that made them choose her for the role.
She said: “When it collapsed I had grown men crying on the phone to me so upset at what had happened. It was such a terrible and stressful time for everyone, and we had to negotiate the best deal for the farmers.”
This year Barbara, with a bit of help from her husband Derek, started a successful ‘pick your own pumpkins and maize maze’ diversification.
Barbara was presented with a cheque for £500 and an engraved crystal bowl.