An ambitious Brecon farmer has been named as one of this year's HCC (Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion) scholars.

Tudor Roderick was named one of just two 2023 HCC scholars during the Royal Welsh Show this week.

Dan Jones from Llandudno was the second scholar announced alongside Tudor.

The duo will be undertaking research trips to study conservation management and anthelmintic usage on sheep farms around the world.

Tudor Roderick, a recent agriculture graduate from Aberystwyth University, works on the family farm in the heart of the Bannau Brycheiniog. Australia will be his scholarship destination and he is focusing on sheep enterprises in Australia and their approach to anthelmintic resistance, a key topic within Welsh and UK agriculture, as well as understanding how they cope with extreme weather scenarios. Tudor follows in the footsteps of his father Richard who was also a HCC Scholar in 2016.

Tudor said: "The Welsh sheep industry currently faces numerous challenges which range from policy and trade, the environment, and the increasing pressure to reduce anthelmintic resistance and antibiotic usage.

"The HCC Scholarship will allow me to seek new ideas and bring knowledge back to the Welsh sheep industry. I’m particularly interested in their practice of breeding replacements with higher resilience to perform with a worm burden. I believe this is a practice which is highly replicable in Wales and could lead to reduced reliance and resistance to anthelmintics."

Dan, a National Trust tenant farmer on the Great Orme, is intending to study farming practices in the USA and the UK to understand the latest techniques and advances in conservation grazing and upland farming. The US Sheep Experimentation Station, the Montana Highland Ranch and, closer to home, Bangor University, will all form stops on his Scholarship tour.

On being appointed as a HCC scholar, Dan said: "There are farms in the United States which are actively adding key conservation practices to their farming systems. There are a number of pilot ranches which are able to store more carbon in the soil than what they emit in their own farming system as well as research into the relationship between grazing, soil health and carbon sequestration.’

"The HCC Scholarship will enable me to learn from a range of farming systems, gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced and, crucially, share this bank of knowledge and first-hand experience with colleagues and counter-parts across the industry."

Dan farms with his wife Ceri and son Efan on the Great Orme near Llandudno managing a flock of 600 breeding ewes and over 900 acres of open access land. Dan has a keen interest in conservation through his work on the farm and utilizes traditional shepherding techniques on the upland farm as well as engaging with the public on conservation and farming issues.

The HCC Scholarship was established more than 20 years ago and offers the chance for ambitious individuals working within the red meat sector in Wales to study an aspect of production or processing across the world. Recent scholarship topics include techno grazing, beef grading systems and DNA shepherding.

Rachael Madeley-Davies, HCC’s Head of Sustainability and Future Policy said: "We are delighted to announce Dan and Tudor as this year’s HCC Scholars. We had a record level of interest in the HCC Scholarship this year and a very strong field of candidates, proving that there is a great deal of ambition and appetite to learn in our industry.

"Both Dan and Tudor have chosen themes which are incredibly timely for our industry and will undoubtedly bring back a wealth of information and learnings which will benefit our sector as a whole. I am sure Dan and Tudor will make excellent representatives for the Welsh red meat sector when studying abroad and we look forward to hearing their findings in due course."