Royal Welsh Agricultural Society appoints new chief executive

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society is pleased to announce that Aled Rhys Jones has been appointed as Managing Director, succeeding Steve Hughson on his retirement later this year. Aled will take the role on 1st of September 2022 before Steve’s departure at the end of this month.

Aled, who lives in Llandeilo with his wife and daughter, is a well-known figure in Welsh agriculture. Aled grew up on the family farm near Cwrt-y-Cadno in North Carmarthenshire and was active in the Young Farmers movement, which culminated in his being named National Federation of Clubs Senior Member of the Year young farmers for England and Wales in 2012.

After graduating with a First Class Diploma in Land Management from the University of Reading, Aled spent the start of his career as a land agent and went on to become a Chartered Surveyor and Agricultural Valuer. He then joined the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society as Deputy Chief Executive between September 2013 and December 2017. During this period he received a Nuffield Farming Fellowship to study the role of agricultural societies and shows. At the end of his fellowship, he presented his paper at the 2016 Nuffield UK conference and was awarded the John Stewart Shield for best presentation.

Since leaving RWAS, Aled has used his skills in broadcasting, becoming the main presenter of BBC Radio Cymru’s agricultural news programme, Bwletin Amaeth. He also spent three years as the Managing Director of the Central Association of Agricultural Appraisers (CAAV), alongside several freelance projects and leadership positions. Throughout this period, Aled remained heavily involved in agricultural shows and events, using his knowledge and Nuffield’s research to help companies with their strategic planning and facilitation.

Commenting on his appointment as the next Managing Director, Aled Rhys Jones said;

“Since 1904 the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has been a constant in a sea of ​​change, and I am honored to take on the role of Chief Executive as it enters its next chapter.

Once again farming is facing a time of significant change and the Society’s role in upholding the highest standards in farming and building a community that understands and values ​​Welsh farming is now more important than it has ever been.

The Royal Welsh means so much to so many people; it’s played a big part in my life, so it’s a huge personal honor and responsibility to take on this role. I want to build on its success, safeguarding what is such an important part of our national identity for generations to come. People are at the heart of this success and all that Royal Welsh stands for, and I look forward to working alongside the talented team of staff, volunteers and members who make it all happen, to bring value Wales and what it means to be Welsh.

The Chairman of the Society’s Trustees (designate), Professor Wynne Jones, who led the selection process, said
: Aled’s background and experience will be extremely valuable to the Company as it looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Aled will bring his strategic vision and strong personal qualities to this position.

Lana T. Arthur