A DAIRY farmer from Wenvoe has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to farming.

Abi Reader, a third-generation dairy farmer, manages a herd of 180 Holstein Friesian and Dairy Shorthorns, on the 800-acre Goldsland Farm, in the Vale, with her father and uncle.

A passionate advocate for the agricultural industry, Ms Reader, 37, strives to find many ways to educate people on agricultural matters and has mentored numerous agricultural and veterinary students on the farm.

Since gaining her degree in agriculture and her postgraduate degree in farm management, she has been a highly visible and respected presence in a traditionally male dominated industry, winning Wales Woman Farmer of the Year in 2016.

Ms Reader said her mother opened the envelope containing the notification letter,

She was a bit dazed and panicked as the letter was late arriving and she thought the reply deadline had passed.

“It is amazing,” Ms Reader said. “It’s nice to think I’ve done something positive, but I just love what I do.

“It’s great to show anyone can do this.

“Some amazing people get these awards.”

Ms Reader is part of the Welsh Dairy Farm Innovations Group, South East Wales TB Eradication Board and the Cattle Vaccination Board, vice president of her local Young Farmers Club, member of the National Farmers Union Dairy Board and an Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board dairy ambassador.

She was elected as the National Farmers Union Cymru county chairman for Glamorgan in 2014.

She hosts community and charity activities which promote the Welsh and British dairy industry to the public and she has been a leading figure behind the #HappyCows social media campaign to highlight to consumers the importance of healthy milk from happy cows, as well as how varied the agricultural sector is.

She founded Cows on Tour, visiting UK primary schools with other young farmers to teach inner-city children how meat, crops, eggs and fruit are produced and arrive on their dinner tables.

And since 2005 she has hosted placement students on her farm for up to 10 months.

She mentors young people keen to get into farming, or to further develop their farming skills.

She was also instrumental in establishing Wenvoe Wildlife Group's Bee Hotel, one of the largest in Wales, on her farm, which safeguards pollinators from accidental destruction by humans and animals.