A haulier who has made an 'extraordinary' contribution to the agricultural community in Pembrokeshire over six decades has joined an illustrious company as winner of this year’s NFU Cymru Idris Davies Memorial Award.

After leaving Selwyn House Preparatory School at the age of 16, Meurig Harries went straight to join the family business, N.M. Harries & Sons, importing, buying and selling machinery, constructing sheds and erecting milking bails on many farms throughout Pembrokeshire during the 1960s and 1970s.

He later branched into Meurig Harries Livestock Haulage, serving the farming community by moving stock all over the county and throughout the UK and Ireland, and then in 1986 he was joined by his son-in-law Steven to establish M&S Transport.

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This enabled the business to grow further, serving the farming community by bringing hay and straw into Pembrokeshire, as well as moving livestock and trading in machinery. Their monthly trips to machinery sales in Cambridge and Shaftesbury have provided an invaluable service to local farmers looking to sell tractors and implements or wanting to purchase any second-hand machinery.

In recent years as well as continuing to serve the farming community with livestock haulage, Meurig has also become well known for his charitable work within farming circles.

Meurig was one of the founders of the annual Croesgoch Vintage Tractor Run which began in 1998. Friends and fellow tractor enthusiasts would come from far and wide to support the event and raise funds for various charities, including Shalom House Trust St Davids, Tenovus Cancer Care, Prostate Cymru, Wales Air Ambulance, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Hope Oxygen Therapy Centre Neyland, to name but a few.

Over the years the event has helped raise over £155,000 for various charities, including a phenomenal £17,500 for ‘Big Tom’, a local builder paralysed through an accident who needed his home specially adapted before he could leave hospital.

Following his diagnosis and treatment from prostate cancer, Meurig has been instrumental in raising awareness of the disease, whilst also raising funds to help fund equipment and training for treatment facilities.

Meurig and his family started an annual Big Breakfast to raise funds for Prostate Cymru initially at Croesgoch Farm Stores and more recently at St Davids Old Farmhouse Brewery, both businesses run by Meurig’s daughters. This was just the start.

He organised a 400-mile charity tractor drive over three days through Wales and Ireland, and to attend as many local livestock markets and agricultural shows as possible talking to farmers about the disease and telling them to get checked out. In the process, he raised £17,370 fwhich resulted in him being awarded Prostate Cymru’s Fundraiser of the Year in 2019.

Jeff Evans, chairman of the Idris Davies Memorial Award management committee, said: “Meurig Harries is a very worthy winner of the Idris Davies Memorial Award for his outstanding contribution to agriculture and for his charitable works in the farming community.

"Now in his eighties, he continues to attend livestock markets, hauling livestock, or just being a contact for machinery or livestock in Pembrokeshire. He is always willing to lend a hand, especially to people just starting out on their journey into farming. Meurig has served the farming community his whole life, supporting farmers at the grassroots.

"He is not one who speaks publicly as part of a society or union, but he quietly supports farmers at the farm gate, being a listening ear, or giving a little advice, and more recently supporting farmers’ health through his campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

"His love and devotion to his farming community is very clear to see, and he still loves nothing more than to sit in the mart chatting about trade and the weather, or attending agricultural shows, especially supporting the vintage section. Meurig joins some illustrious company in becoming this year’s winner of the Idris Davies Memorial award.”