Farming has been in Ioan’s blood for years, with a passion for farming since the age of 13. After leaving school, Ioan has worked on dairy, beef and sheep farms but primarily pigs.
Ioan and Sansaw go way back, having worked with the outdoor pigs that were kept on the estate until the dairy took centre stage in 2008.
“I’ve always wanted to work on farms, having helped out on a friend’s sheep and beef farm which is where it all started really,” Ioan commented.
Originally from Tywyn, West Wales, Ioan worked with pigs for over 10 years, moving around the country, working in Hampshire and Berkshire before coming to Shropshire in 2001.
“I love the outdoors and the freedom the animals have. It’s a good way of farming, the outdoor pig unit. It doesn’t suit everybody because of the mud and dust whatever time of year it is, but I enjoyed it.”
Ioan looks after the youngstock on the estate, ensuring they thrive from birth right up until the heifers begin calving.
“I do get attached to the calves, though there are lots of them!” Ioan laughs. “But there are some you certainly get to know well, as they are such characters.”
Going from outdoor pigs to youngstock was quite a change, but Ioan takes every opportunity in his stride.
“It was circumstance that got me working with youngstock. I think it was a natural fit for me to work with them, but my son Daniel also works here on the milking team. It can’t be a bad place if your son wants to come and work with you!”
Away from the estate, Ioan goes home to a family of nine children, having homeschooled them with his wife.
“My wife has done it all really. It doesn’t suit everyone but it suited her. For us it’s worked out as our family are close and get on well. It’s been good.
“My family takes up a lot of my time but we do plenty of different things, like football and cycling. The children like kayaking but I can’t say the same! My family and I go to a Baptist church in a village called Snailbeach, which is where you’ll find me on a Sunday if I’m not working!”