A LEADING figure in Welsh agriculture has been appointed as chairman of the livestock committee at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.

Meurig James, who lives at Whitland and is head of breed development at Holstein UK, succeeds showing stalwart Len Bigley who passed away in December.

Meurig is no stranger to the Royal Welsh Show where he has judged the dairy interbreed section in recent years.

He has been a member of its livestock committee since 2012 and sits on the RWAS council as well as being a familiar voice in his role as commentator at the show.

Meurig started his career in agriculture as a farmer on the family dairy farm at Pengawse Farm, Whitland.

But with a younger brother at home on limited acreage, his future career path took him off-farm, to work at Holstein UK.

As well as head of breed development at the company he is also head of the National Bovine Data Centre.

Meurig’s interest in pedigree breeding is reflected in his appointment as the youngest ever chairman of the South Wales Holstein Friesian Club, an organisation later renamed as the South Wales Holstein Club of which he became president.

In his professional role he now oversees the classification of 140,000 pedigree and non-pedigree dairy and beef cattle annually.