Two ‘dairy sheep’ producers have won the prestigious Brynle Williams Memorial Award, which recognizes the achievements of young farmers who have found their niche in the industry.
Bryn and his partner Becca Morris, both in their early thirties, raise a flock of about 120 East Frisian ewes, a breed renowned for the quality of its milk.
They run a council-owned smallholding, Fferm Wernllwyd, near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, where they moved in early 2021.
Inspired by consumer demand, Bryn and Becca doubled the size of their original herd that they had purchased at an on-farm dispersal sale.
They have also recently started seeking funding for a new food processing unit that will allow them to process sheep’s milk into a range of Welsh cheeses and dairy products from the farm.
The sheep milking industry in the UK is still relatively new, but this entrepreneurial couple are capitalizing on this rapidly growing market in more ways than one.
Having set up collaborations with other ambitious farmers, Bryn and Becca, with support from the Welsh Government’s Farming Connect scheme, are already processing milk into a range of specialty cheeses.
Their Welsh sheep’s milk cheeses are “in the style” of Feta, Halloumi, Blue and Manchego, and they recently launched “Ewenique Spirits”, their own brand of sheep’s whey vodka.
The couple received the Brynle Williams Memorial Award, which was established in 2011 to recognize the late Brynle Williams’ contribution to Welsh agriculture, both as an Assemblyman and a farmer.
The award celebrates the achievements of young farmers who have received a Welsh Government support package designed to help bring new blood into the industry.
Bryn said, “Critically, we’ve had a tremendous amount of support from Farming Connect… [it] also allowed us to create our first joint venture with famous sheep milk producers Nick and Wendy Holtman, owners of Defaid Dolwerdd in Crymych. »
Now the couple have many other working partnerships under their belt, including two other Ceredigion farmers who now supply them with sheep’s milk.
The couple say they believe they have a future both as ‘dairy sheep’ farmers and as independent food and drink processors.
“My ultimate goal is to create a co-operative of Welsh farmers who have similar aspirations and to help each of us grow our respective businesses,” said Bryn.
The couple also thank the support of Food Center Wales who provided the training, technical know-how and processing facilities to turn sheep’s milk into lactose-free cheeses, ice creams and frozen milk.