Farmers can learn new skills and practices at a series of Farming Connect ‘masterclasses’ taking place locally in the coming months.

Some of the UK’s leading experts on topics ranging from the use of genetics and technology in sheep farming to the legal responsibilities that farm employers have to their staff will share their advice at these meetings.

December 5 sees a masterclass in business, specifically targeted at farmers who employ staff or self-employed workers and who want to develop an understanding of their legal responsibilities to their workforce. This event, which will be held at the Wolfscastle Hotel, Wolfscastle, Pembrokeshire, at 7pm will be delivered by Lesley Rossiter, of Landsker Business Solutions.

The series continues the following day with Matt Harding, of Bentley Suffolks, the 2021 Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year, discussing how he has developed his family farm to meet changing demands. Matt combines genetics and technology to produce quality pedigree Suffolks and Aberblack rams on a forage-only system. He will present at The Plough Hotel, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire on December 6 at 7pm.

For local farmers who want to improve their understanding of their carbon footprint there will be a masterclass targeted at them in February. Non Williams, Farming Connect Carbon Specialist Officer, will deliver an interactive workshop focussing on breaking down the carbon jargon and will help farmers learn about the significance of the carbon cycle of their farms, and how they can influence it to help reduce their carbon footprint in the future. The workshop will take place at Llety Cynin, St Clears, on February 6, 2024, at 7.30pm.

For farmers or new entrants who are considering diversifying into horticulture, an interactive session will take place at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne, to give guidance on the first steps and considerations of launching a growing enterprise. Master Horti, on February 8, 2024, will outline the support and services available to help make the new venture a success too.

Also at the National Botanic Garden, this time on February 20, 2024, at Master Integrated Pest Management (IPM), industry experts and experienced farmers will discuss the fundamentals of managing weeds, pests and diseases in different farm settings and explore how to start an IPM plan.

For dairy farmers, there is a masterclass on lameness, with vet Cath Tudor, of Prostock Vets, delivering a practical session on mobility scoring. There will also be a foot trimming demonstration, as well as a discussion around maintaining healthy feet in dairy stock. This event will take place on February 20, 2024, at 11am at Trebersed Farm, Travellers Rest, Carmarthen.

For more information about these events and to book a place, visit the Farming Connect website.