Hugh celebrates 25 years’ service with NFU Cymru
An NFU Cymru/NFU Mutual group secretary has recently celebrated 25 years’ service with the union.
Hugh Davies, group secretary at the Builth Wells office, started work as a group secretary in the smaller of two Brecon offices on March 7 1994. He took over from Arfon Evans when he retired and his patch covered three local branches – Merthyr Cynog, the South East group (covering Sennybridge and the Swansea Valley) and the Beacons Group, which covered the Hirwaun, Penderyn and Vaynor areas.
Hugh was originally born and raised in Pembrokeshire, where his family returned in later life, with his father becoming Archdeacon. He attended Gelli Aur Agricultural College in the early 80s before moving to America for 18 months, working on dairy farms and rearing units in Kansas and Texas. He reminisces: “One of my jobs was to shoot rattle snakes as they used to bite the cattle whilst they were grazing. We’d get $10 a head, plus a dollar a foot.”
On his return to Wales he studied at The Welsh Agricultural College, Aberystwyth before going on to study at Wye College (University of London) under Professor David Leaver, where he gained a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture and an MSc in Sustainable Agriculture.
Following a two year stint in the Brecon office, Hugh was asked to oversee the amalgamation of the Rhayader and Builth Wells offices. On May 1 1996 he moved to the Rhayader Office. On July 1, 1996 Hugh took over the Builth Wells office in addition to the Rhayader office (on the retirement of John Morgan) and relocated to the showground later that year. Hugh was joined later that year by assistant Mike Thomas and their partnership began. Now employing six members of staff, they have the largest two-person membership agency in Wales.
Hugh and wife Lizzie have three children, Monty, 15, Florence, 13, and Darcy, 12. They live at Penpont, near Sennybridge. He enjoys skiing and is a keen shot. Hugh has been the secretary for the Mynydd Epynt Graziers association for 25 years and also sits on the Sennybridge Show committee. Speaking about his 25 years’ service, Hugh said: “Over the years the fundamentals of the job have stayed the same, visiting, advising and assisting members, but the financial services regulation on the insurance and investment side of the business has increased greatly. I feel privileged to have worked for NFU Cymru and NFU Mutual for the last 25 years. Both are sound and professional organisations who command great respect at the highest level. They are great institutions to be associated with.”