Husband and wife Andrew and Allison Tyrrell have diversified their 220 acre organic farm business, Lower Hardingsdown near Llangennith on the Gower peninsular, in a number of ways including opening up a tree nursery unit and providing holiday accommodation.
Allison on her lamb cutting course
In addition, the couple are now adding value to lamb which they produce from their own flock of 60 ewes and store lambs bought in for finishing, by selling locally through a box scheme. The Tyrrells acquired the new skills they needed to undertake this venture thanks to subsidised training funded by 80% through the Farming Connect Skills Development Programme.
Having already done their research and assessed the local market potential, the Tyrrells knew that there was sufficient demand in the area to warrant setting up a box scheme and for undertaking the training to support this new venture.
The Skills Development Programme, which is managed by Lantra on behalf of Farming Connect, provided 80% funding for Andrew and Allison to obtain their Food Hygiene Level 2 certificate, followed by a one day lamb cutting course at the Food Centre Wales near Llandysul.
With their new skills, the Tyrrells are able to add value to every lamb they produce by processing the carcasses themselves and selling directly to the public.
Allison said: “Undertaking lamb cutting and food hygiene training has helped us add value to our basic product and our entitlement to 80% funding from Farming Connect enabled us both to complete the courses. The application process was straightforward and I would recommend all farming businesses take up the opportunities available through this programme.
Skills Development Programme Manager at Lantra, Sarah Lewis, said: “Andrew and Allison are a great example of how people can really make a difference to their business through the Farming Connect Skills Development Programme.
“Farming Connect funds a wide range of courses including enterprise and management skills, livestock husbandry, health and safety, pest and disease control, lift trucks and plant, equipment use and vehicle operation. Subsidised training is available from a number of approved training providers across Wales and any farmers keen to develop their skills should get in touch with us as soon as possible.”
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