A Pembrokeshire farmer has been announced as the winner of the 2023 NFU Cymru/NFU Mutual ‘Dairy Stockperson of the Year Award’.

Harri Vaughan from Tufton, was announced as the winner at today’s Welsh Dairy Show in Nantyci, Carmarthenshire.

The competition, now in its 10th year, recognises the important contribution a good dairy stockperson can make to a dairy enterprise, as well as the wider Welsh dairy industry.

During a presentation at the Welsh Dairy Show today (Tuesday, October 24), Harri was presented with the top prize of £500 and a Welsh slate engraved cheese board by NFU Cymru Dairy Board Chairman, Jonathan Wilkinson and Rhys Williams, NFU Cymru/NFU Mutual Group Secretary in Llandeilo, who judged the competition.

Harri was raised on his grandparent’s dairy farm with his parents also becoming involved in the business many years ago.

When Harri was eight months old he would go with his grandmother to feed the cows and would carry around a bucket, this is where his passion for dairy farming began.

He studied agriculture at Hartpury College and spent a year on a dairy farm during his placement.

Harri plays a vital role in running and managing the dairy, beef and sheep farm and, along with his wife Hannah, has more recently achieved his childhood dream of buying the neighbouring farm, which both his father and grandfather previously worked on.

He manages the overall farm as well as the dairy herd which has recently grown from 250 to 450 cows, with further plans to expand to 500 dairy cows.

Harri does all day-to-day tasks including milking, feeding, AI, and animal husbandry and also deals with the in-calf heifers, bulling heifers and the weaned cows.

He is involved with all aspects of care and management of the farm and stock. He has a big passion for breeding on the farm and works on the fertility programmes for the stock, choosing all the bulls for the cows and heifers.

After the business took a huge knock with bovine TB just over a year ago, where he lost many of the family pedigrees, his drive and determination to come back better and stronger and to create a future herd that he is proud of, is plain to see.

Harri also showcases his daily farming life on Instagram and also takes part in FarmerTime with his wife Hannah.

Speaking after the presentation, NFU Cymru Dairy Board Chair Jonathan Wilkinson said: “I would like to congratulate Harri on winning this award. The standard of entries in this year’s competition were extremely high and myself and Rhys had the difficult task of choosing between the shortlisted entries.

“However, Harri’s passion and positivity for the future of the dairy industry here in Wales, meant he stood out during the judging process. From the moment we met him, Harri’s enthusiasm for dairy farming was clear to see and we were delighted to present him with this award today.”

Rhys Williams, NFU Cymru /NFU Mutual Group Secretary said: “It really is a privilege to be a part of the judging process for this fantastic competition.

“The standard of entries this year is testament to the high calibre of people we have working in the Welsh dairy sector and Harri is a prime example of someone who is thoroughly deserving of this recognition.”