Sowing the seeds… Or an important window onto modern farming

Farmers are more known for working the fields than surfing the web, but Gareth Wyn Jones is one North Wales farmer who is bucking the trend.

I first encountered Gareth on Twitter where he was often to be found making comments on everything from the price of food to the treatment of rural services in Wales.

Draw that up into a neat bundle with his appreciation for his stunning surroundings on the Carneddau Mountains and he was one of the most vocal farmers in the UK.

As I spotted him, so did BBC Wales, and when they showed his programme The Hill Farm, it was a terrific chance to see the man behind the social media persona.

Starting the four-part series with winter scenes which saw Gareth dragging countless sheep garethcarcasses from snow drifts that topped the height of a full-grown man, it was an emotional and intimate portrayal of the life and work of a man and his family.

A massive part of the strife which meets modern farmers seems to be competitively representing themselves in the market they’re in.

Gareth tells a story of going to a large supermarket with his daughter one day after the harsh winter on the mountain.

“I came to one shelf with a few pieces of Welsh lamb. Stacked high next to it were three or four shelves of New Zealand lamb at half the price.

“You imagine how I felt at seeing that, after saving as many of those lambs as I could during the snow.

“Honest to God, if I was the sort to cry, I would have.”

It seems that we’re all lucky Gareth counts his smartphone alongside his quad bike as an essential tool for the modern farmer.

Read the piece here


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