Final countdown to Open Farm Weekend

Victor and Margaret Turtle of Drumrammer Farm, Ahoghill are opening their dairy farm for the first time with Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend. They are pictured with their daughter Megan (9), and Rose Crawford (4).
Victor and Margaret Turtle of Drumrammer Farm, Ahoghill are opening their dairy farm for the first time with Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend. They are pictured with their daughter Megan (9), and Rose Crawford (4).

Sponsors of Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend are on the final countdown to the annual event which takes place on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June.

Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend is delivered by Ulster Farmers’ Union and is sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK and supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, NFU Mutual, ASDA and the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme.

UFU Deputy President Victor Chestnutt said: “On behalf of the UFU, I would like to record our thanks to all the main sponsors for their continued financial support helping us to deliver this very worthwhile initiative. We are grateful to Bank of Ireland, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, NFU Mutual, ASDA and the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme.

“We rely heavily on their support to keep our events free for members of the public to attend. We hope families will take up the opportunity for a day out on their local farm and be educated about the local food and farming industry.”

Sixteen farms including six new hosts will open their doors to the public including Castlescreen Farm near Downpatrick who specialise in producing Dexter beef, Jamisons Potatoes in Ballycastle and Drumrammer Farm, a dairy farm outside Ahoghill. Each farm event is unique with a vast range of activities on offer, including cookery demonstrations, farm walks, food tastings, interactive quizzes, meet the animals and apple orchard tours to name just a few.

On Saturday 17th June, 16 farms will be open whilst on Sunday 18th June, which is also Father’s Day, 13 farms will take part. Visitors are asked to wear appropriate clothing and footwear to the farms that they visit and to also note that dogs are not permitted. There will be a free competition at each farm to win a hamper of local food produce for one lucky family to take home with them.

Victor added: “Farms will be open whatever the weather, so come along rain or shine!”

The weekend would not be possible without the help and resources of Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, Food NI, CAFRE, DAERA and the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association.

For more information on the initiative, visit the website www.openfarmweekend.com, follow on Twitter @BOIopenfarm and like Open Farm Weekend on Facebook.