A YOUNG dairy farmer from Pembrokeshire has won a prestigious award thanks to her dedication to becoming the best in her field.

Maureen Hedley, aged 24, from Haverfordwest won the land management and production young learner of the year category in Lantra’s 2012 Land-based Learner of the Year Awards “Having grown up on a farm I always wanted to pursue a practical career,” said Maureen, who attends Coleg Sir Gar and was nominated by her tutor David Davies.

“The attention to detail and commitment needed to help manage a dairy herd really appealed to me. I’ve found that having a positive, can-do attitude really helps when trying to achieve the challenging targets in dairy farming.”

When asked what advice she would give other people considering farming as a career, Maureen said: “If you are willing to work hard the opportunities in this industry are tremendous, you just need to find an area that you are passionate about.”

Kevin Thomas, Lantra national director Wales, said: “With her dedication to learning and development Maureen has quickly risen to becoming assistant herdswoman responsible for over 600 cows. She sets a good example to other young people of what can be achieved with a little dedication and determination. I would like to congratulate Maureen and all of this year’s nominees for the outstanding work they do.”

Maureen received her award from Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair last week.

The highly commended prize went to fellow Coleg Sir Gar student, 19-year-old Anwen Jones from New Inn, Pencader. Anwen is currently studying for an HNC in agriculture and has a passion for breeding Beulah Speckelface sheep.

The land-based learner of the year awards celebrate the most exceptional and inspiring learners in Wales’ land-based and environmental industries.

This year Lantra received 35 nominations from across Wales for the young learner and lifelong learner categories.

There was also an award for Farming Connect learner of the year.