The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has played a leading role in the development of agriculture and the rural economy in Wales for over a century, since its formation in 1904.
Today our work includes providing support for business, social welfare and education in rural communities, and the organisation and staging of our ever-popular society events; the Smallholding and Countryside Festival, the Royal Welsh Show and the Winter Fair.
The RWAS Award for the Best Student of Agriculture at the Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University. Candidates must have studied Agriculture or a programme with a significant component of Agriculture to Degree, Diploma or Certificate level and should have been born and bred in Wales.
This year’s Award for Student of the Year goes to Osian Gwyn Jones of Rhyd-Y-Fen, Arenig, Y Bala, Gwynedd.
Osian was brought up at Rhyd-y-Fen, Arenig, Y Bala, Gwynedd, a hill farm running between 340m a 689m and carrying 500 Welsh Mountain ewes and 18 Welsh Black cows. Osian will be the 4th generation of his family to farm there and the family have farmed in the area for several centuries.
Osian attended Ysgol Gynradd Bro Tryweryn and Ysgol Uwchradd y Berwyn before being admitted to study for a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture at Aberystwyth University in 2018. He graduated with a Class I degree this year, attaining outstandingly high marks throughout his studies.
For his undergraduate dissertation, Osian investigated the possibility of liming as a means of flood prevention on agricultural grassland. The study demonstrated that withholding lime applications had a negative impact on water infiltration and that lime applications could be a means of improving infiltration in grassland.
He says that the highlights of his time at Aberystwyth were the grassland lectures – specifically the lectures on grazing systems illustrating how production efficiency could be improved by adopting a more technical approach; also the lectures on nutrient management planning and soil health. He was inspired by the agri-environment work covered and its relevance not only to the farming system practiced on his home farm but also its timely links to the increasing consumer interest in the environmental footprint of their food. In addition, he greatly appreciated and enjoyed the excellent social life at Aberystwyth University.
His immediate plans following graduation are to return to the family farm and to look into opportunities to expand and diversify the business. He will also, in due course, look for off-farm employment opportunities in agriculture that will complement his work commitments at home.
Aberystwyth University congratulates Osian on his achievement and wishes him well for the future.”
The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society proudly support this Award which recognises the outstanding potential of the next generation.