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Dominie Chetwynd announced as the Wales winner of development programme

Dominie Chetwynd from Crickhowell in Wales has been announced as the winner of British Wool’s 2023 Training & Development programme. 

Last week British Wool met with Dominie to find out more and discuss her achievement.

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Dominie Chetwynd, I’m 18 years old and live just outside of Crickhowell in Wales - I’m about to complete my A-Level’s in my final year at school.

I’ve always been massively interested in farming and especially sheep farming, there’s so much I want to learn and be involved in within the industry. I am currently working as a relief milker on a local dairy farm which I really enjoy.

Once I’ve finished school my plan is to work over the summer milking, with a shearing gang and whatever other opportunities I can find for work.  In the autumn, I intend to go out to New Zealand, where I will be working in the wool sheds. I would also like to travel and work on different farms gaining a variety of experience.

I also love my sport and play rugby and hockey for my Local teams Gwernyfed Ladies.

Tell me about your interest in the sheep industry?

To date, I have limited experience in the sheep industry but have grown up on a farm that historically always had sheep, so it is an industry that I have lived on the edge of.

I have recently undertaken one of the British Wool shearing courses which was hard work, but I really enjoyed.  I found the course incredibly useful and I’m hoping to progress and get my Blue Seal fairly shortly.

A couple of years ago I was given a Brecknock Cheviot orphan lamb who had little chance, she has grown into a cracking ewe, I now have four ewe lambs from her from the last two seasons and a small bunch of other ewes, this year I intend to shear them myself.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m a relief milker on a dairy farm.

I play a lot of sport, hockey, and rugby. 

I have two horses which I ride as often as I can.

I’m involved with Pontfaen YFC, presently training for the tug of war for the rally!

Why did you want to be involved with British Wool Training & Development Programme?

I want exposure to farming industries.

My experience is limited but equally I don’t want to be the first generation in my family not to be involved in farming, particularly sheep farming, I want to understand the culture, work in the culture and to be respected in the culture!

I realise that farming is difficult particularly for sheep farmers, but it seems there is an increasing push towards heritage and history, people are increasingly becoming more interested in their heritage. The wool industry is a big part of heritage and history as it was a huge part of industry in previous centuries within the UK.  I’m keen to get a better understanding of this history and wish to see the pressures on British farming and wool develop into a brighter future.

I also want to learn and develop my shearing and to understanding what is involved with grading wool. 

What are you looking forward to most within the programme?

I’m most looking forward to the opportunity of learning from people who have time to share their knowledge and being in a working environment where I can maximise my experience and learn.

I’m also looking forward to sharing this experience with my family, friends and anyone who wishes to follow my progress on social media.

I want to be able to share my experience and help others who may be limited to similar opportunities but want the chance to be involved.

What do you know about British Wool’s role in the UK sheep industry?

British Wool is key to the UK wool industry in helping market its product.

British Wool sets a high standard through its training and development opportunities for shearers and those working in the wool sheds as well as providing opportunities for beginners like me.

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Dominie Chetwynd announced as the Wales winner of development programme