The Agri Academy Junior Programme, a joint collaboration with Wales YFC, is aimed at supporting young people aged between 16 and 19 years who hope to follow a career in the food, farming and forestry industries.

    The fully subsidised Junior Programme will offer you:

    An opportunity to network with some of the key players in the food and farming industry

    An inspiring activity-packed programme of activities to support your career choices and help you achieve your goals

    Training for effective communications, press and media handling, and negotiation skills

    Opportunities to gain experience of chairing meetings, voicing your opinions and getting your point across effectively


    Joining 9 other successful candidates for the 2020 Junior Programme are 3 of Montgomery YFC’s Junior members:

    Owain Wigley – Four Crosses YFC

    Elin Orrells – Tregynon YFC

    Ilan Hughes – Bro Ddyfi YFC

    Congratulations to you all, we look forward to hearing all about your experiences!

    Owain Wigley

    Owain Wigley is currently studying a BTEC Level 3 construction and the built environment extended diploma at Shrewsbury College. His aim is to study either rural land management or quantity surveying at university, after which he hopes to return to his home in Montgomeryshire to practice as a young professional.

    Owain enjoys working on the family dairy farm in Llanymynech, where he helps out with the 150 milking herd and 100 store beef cattle. He has a particular interest in alternative energy as his farm uses both solar and biomass systems. He is also determined to find ways of ensuring the business can become more sustainable through soils and grazing management.

    A keen member of Four Crosses YFC, he takes part in all club activities and competitions, representing the county at crafts, and representing Wales at dodgeball and rounders.

    “I know I will benefit from meeting new people and gain confidence as I start on the next steps of university and professional life.

    “Being part of the Agri Academy Junior Programme will enable me to learn at first hand from rural leaders and mentors from different backgrounds and with different views, especially as we leave the European Union.  I think the practical experiences offered by the programme will benefit me enormously and give me skills that I have for life.

    “I also think it will be good fun!”

    Elin Orrells

    Elin Orrells is student at the Newtown campus of the NPTC group of colleges. She lives at home on a mixed arable and livestock family farm in Montgomeryshire. She enjoys helping out with all the stock, assists with the farm paperwork and has undertaken numerous courses to enable her to drive ATVs and other farm machinery and equipment safely. Elin also has a part time post with a local tearoom, where she helps prepare food and enjoys the interaction with customers.

    Actively involved at both club and county level with the YFC, she has participated in numerous competitions, particularly enjoying street dancing competitions and also public speaking, representing Montgomeryshire at a national competition.

    As a ‘Silver Sports Young Ambassador’ Elin has coached pupils of all ages in a range of sports and helped organise various sporting events at school to encourage pupil participation. Her willingness to ‘get involved with anything and everything’ both in the YFC and her local community, contributed to one of her proudest moments, when in 2019, Elin won the Lantra Land-based Learner of the Year award.

    “I am looking forward to being part of the Agri Academy Junior Programme and learning all I can from industry professionals and other ambitious young farmers.

    “Given the uncertainties around the impact of Brexit, the pending European and worldwide trade deals, and of course the impact of Covid 19, think the Agri Academy will help us all focus on what we can do to help secure a viable future for agriculture.”

    Ilan Hughes

    Ilan Hughes is studying Level 3 agriculture at Llysfasi College. He lives at home at his family’s beef and sheep farm near Machynlleth and is also a registered carer for his younger sister. Ilan helps out with all aspects of farm work at the family beef and sheep farm near Machynlleth. He particularly enjoys general husbandry of all the stock but is also proficient with tractor, ATV and general machinery work including hedge cutting and fencing.

    Ilan takes on numerous weekend and evening posts which fit in with term time and his other commitments. He is an experienced sheepdog trainer and handler. A keen young shearer, he enjoys competing at local shows.

    He has a flock of pedigree Poll Dorset sheep which he shows successfully at both local and national level and is currently the Welsh-Dorset Sheep Society’s vice-publicity officer. A keen member of Bro Ddyfi YFC, Ilan admits life is pretty busy, but when time permits, he enjoys playing rugby and football and also likes to help local community initiatives.

    His long-term ambition is to farm full time and expand the family farm businesses.

    “Farming is such an important industry, and I believe that the more I learn and absorb, the more confident I will become and the more able I will be to put my ideas into actions. I want to explore as many subjects as possible and think that being part of the Agri Academy Junior Programme will offer me lots of opportunities and experiences that I otherwise would not have.”