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Ben Anthony and Diana Fairclough

Fronwen Farm, Anthony and fairclough, Carmarthenshire

BEN Anthony and Diana Fairclough have been refining their sheep enterprise to make it more efficient and profitable.

In 2006, the couple entered a joint venture agreement with Diana’s parents, then decided to pursue the finished lamb market.

Now, replacements – Aberfield cross improved Welsh ewe lambs – are bought from one source to minimise disease risk, and run with performance recorded Abermax and Primera rams to improve overall lamb performance.

Sheep numbers have increased from 300 ewes to 570 ewes and 160 ewe lambs. Other changes to their system include the improvement of pre-lambing nutrition, introduction of teaser rams to shorten lambing period and EID to monitor performance.

What the judges said: It is clear Ben and Diana are not just following fads and fashions, but recording everything they can to make sure they are using innovation in the best way possible for their farming business. The judges were particularly impressed with the use of genetics to improve the flock and ultimately the end product, with an aim of meeting market specifications.

On winning: Ben Anthony and Diana Fairclough said they were a bit ‘shell-shocked to win. Ben said: “It’s totally unbelievable. It was a huge honour just to be nominated. It’s a really brilliant night.”