Aled Thomas

Harper Adams University

ALED Thomas has benefitted from pushing himself outside of his comfort zone at university and in his extracurricular activities.

Starting at university, Aled was unsure if he had taken the right path and says the biggest challenge was mixing with people from such different farming backgrounds from all around the country. Now, graduating with a 2:1, Aled is certain he made the right choice.

“I quickly realised that everyone around me had the same interests and passion for agriculture.”

Aled has developed a keen interest in vegetable growing from his degree after spending his placement at Puffin Produce.

He is going to travel in February 2020 and wanted to look in detail at what the UK could learn from California and Holland on maintaining a continuous supply of fresh vegetables in the UK while battling the climate.

“I am completely passionate about producing the highest quality crops possible while maintaining freshness and reducing ‘food miles’,” he says.

Harper Adams senior lecturer and placement manager Terry Pickthall says Aled ‘personifies what makes me love my job’.


Outside of university, Aled is a keen member of Young Farmers Clubs, and has held numerous positions.

“There is one key reason that I relish in taking part in these roles within YFC, and that is because I started off as a shy, quiet person who would not socialise at all,” he says.

But he adds through the YFC has developed his self confidence and encouraged him to share his opinions and hopes to inspire others to do the same.

He is also passionate about the Welsh language and won the ‘Shwmae Award’ for promoting the Welsh language in the county of Pembrokeshire and throughout the Young Farmers Movement.

The judges said about Aled: Aled demonstrated determined and self-motivated attitude to education and outside university.  Very focused on his career and the challenges facing UK agriculture.

On winning, Aled said: I feel quite humbled that others think I have done enough to warrant being here. Once upon a time I didn’t think I would make it through the first term let alone four years. Young people coming into agriculture are the future and those who will be responsible for eventually feeding the national. It can be challenging to dispel the myths around agriculture and events like the British Farming Awards keep us real and refreshing and relevant. It is a time to share the great work we do and come back stronger.