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Staff Expertise Puts Menter a Busnes on the World Stage


Menter a Busnes’ expertise in farming and animal health has attracted global recognition, with staff members set to participate in international events at home and abroad.

Specialists from the award-winning Arwain DGC (Defnydd Gwrthficrobaidd Cyfrifol / Responsible Antimicrobial Use) programme and flagship agricultural support programme, Farming Connect, will deliver key presentations to expert audiences as far as Austria and Australia.

Both programmes are funded by the Welsh Government and are delivered by Menter a Busnes. The invitation to attend such high-profile events demonstrates the international importance of the activities and research undertaken by the Menter a Busnes teams.

The pioneering work of the Arwain DGC programme will be highlighted at an international conference in Australia later this month (November 20-22nd).

Programme manager Dewi Hughes will address delegates at the Australian Veterinary Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference 2023 and tell them about Arwain DGC’s work to help vets, farmers, and horse owners tackle the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by reducing the need to use antibiotics.

The invitation to participate in the conference was issued following Arwain DGC’s success at the Antibiotic Guardian 2022 Shared Learning & Awards, which saw the innovative programme’s work recognised alongside that of national and international organisations and companies.

Dewi said,

“It’s great that Arwain DGC is earning international recognition for the innovative work Welsh farmers, vets and industry representatives have achieved with the support of the Welsh Government.

“No doubt one of the programme’s key strengths is bringing people and expertise together to deliver a coordinated approach to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance. As well as sharing our knowledge, we will also learn from others worldwide how to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance, which is recognised as a major global human and animal health threat.”

Next month, Dr Non Williams, who is the Carbon Specialist Officer for Farming Connect, will make a presentation at the British Society of Soil Science and the Soil Science Society of Ireland’s Joint Annual Conference in Belfast (December 4th & 5th).

The overall theme of the conference is ‘Soil Management and Monitoring’, and Non will speak about the work of Farming Connect’s Welsh Soil Project in estimating the soil carbon stocks on Welsh farms.

This ongoing project, which is in its second year, aims to investigate the degree of variability in soil carbon stocks within a single farming system, as well as between different farming systems.

Non said,

“The Welsh Government is committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, and the findings of this pan-Wales project will be of relevance to this challenge.

“I’m looking forward to discussing our study with fellow conference delegates from other countries and demonstrating how in Wales, Farming Connect works directly with farmers to provide valuable data that can be used as a benchmark in the future, on a farm-by-farm basis. Also, to use the wealth of knowledge within the farming and scientific communities to reduce the gap between experimental research and practical application within the agricultural industry in relation to soil carbon.”

In the new year, it will be the turn of Farming Connect Succession Facilitator Dr Eiry Williams to take to the stage when she takes part in an expert panel at the Oxford Real Farming Conference (January 4th & 5th).

She is responsible for promoting the need for open discussions on succession, coordinating the setting up of joint ventures, and assisting those who want to start farming and those looking to step back from the industry.

Eiry said,

“The Oxford Real Farming Conference is an excellent opportunity to get the message across about the opportunities that exist to bring together those farmers looking to step back from their farming businesses, and also for new entrants who want to begin their careers in agriculture.

For Eiry, who has taken part in  numerous conferences while studying for her PhD, being invited this year as a panel member is a personal milestone, and she credits Menter a Busnes for enabling her to develop her skills.

She said,

“Enabling team members to participate in such prestigious industry events further demonstrates Menter a Busnes’ reputation as a hub of expertise in the agricultural sector.”

In February, Arwain DGC Veterinary Development Manager Dr Gwen Rees will be heading for Austria to give the invited keynote presentation at one of the main conferences on the use of antibiotics in Europe.

The AACTING (Network on quantification of veterinary Antimicrobial usage at herd level and Analysis, CommunicaTion and benchmarkING to improve responsible usage) conference will take place in Vienna on February 1st & 2nd.

Gwen said,

“This year’s conference will focus on the quantification, benchmarking, and stewardship of veterinary antimicrobial usage – so it will be an important audience with which to share the successes of Arwain DGC’s award-winning work, including the Veterinary Prescribing Champion Network.

“It will also be an excellent opportunity to hear about the world in this area being undertaken by our colleagues across Europe.”

Business News Wales