Smallholding out to beat big boys; Family hoping tiny herd can produce champion.Byline: By ANDREW FORGRAVE Rural Affairs Editor
EXHIBITORS hoping to triumph at next week's Royal Welsh The Royal Welsh (Welsh Y Cymry Brenhinol) was formed on St David's Day, 1 March 2006. It is one of the new large infantry regiments of the British Army, and the regiment's formation was announced on 16 December 2004 by Geoff Hoon and General Sir Mike Jackson as part of include a farming family out to prove that small can sometimes be beautiful.
Ken and Lisa Ellis, of Nantycynog, Bryncrug, near Tywyn, first began showing Welsh Black Welsh black
dual-purpose black cattle breed originating in Wales, UK. Cattle at the 2005 Royal Welsh Show The Royal Welsh Show is the biggest agricultural show in Europe. It is organised by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, and takes place in July of each year, at Llanelwedd, near Builth Wells in mid-Wales. .
But unlike some of their contemporaries the couple don't have a large pool of cattle from which to choose, as their Ynysfor herd comprises just 15 Welsh Blacks.
These, along with 100 ewes and 400 organic chickens, are kept at the 50-acre smallholding smallholding
a piece of agricultural land smaller than a farm
Noun 1. smallholding - a piece of land under 50 acres that is sold or let to someone for cultivation which the family took over 18 months ago.
A carpenter and joiner join·er
1. A carpenter, especially a cabinetmaker.
2. Informal A person given to joining groups, organizations, or causes. by trade, Ken came into farming at 21 to work with his father, the late Emlyn Ellis, who managed the nearby Rhydygarnedd herd of pedigree Welsh Black cattle for Mrs Sarah Tudor.
Now he farms with the help of sons Tomos, 18, an apprentice carpenter, Dafydd, 16, and nine year-old William.
"I have always loved farming," says Ken.
"While I trained in the building industry it was always my intention to go into farming, and to keep Welsh Black Cattle in particular."
In 2005, when they made their Royal Welsh debut, the Ellis family entered three animals - at the time half the Ynysfor herd - which went on to win the Best Group of Three title.
And last year a homebred home·bred
Raised, bred, or reared at home; domestic. heifer, Ynysfor Gwenno, collected the reserve champion female title.
But winning isn't everything, insists Lisa.
"The RoyalWelsh is very important and special for us as a family and it has become our annual holiday," she said."
Welsh Black breeders the Ellis family (left to right): Dafydd, Lisa, Ken, Tomos, William (front) are taking on the best farmers in the country at the Royal Welsh