Ards Group looking for some summer sun

Gareth Rankin and Terry Hagan
Gareth Rankin and Terry Hagan

With the Balmoral Show fast approaching and farmers across the country gearing towards the summer months we wait with anticipation to see if the weather will be kind.

The Ards Group members have enjoyed a varied 2016/2017 winter programme with speakers and topics from an array of backgrounds.

Members at Christmas breakfast at Harrisons of Greyabbey

Members at Christmas breakfast at Harrisons of Greyabbey

One of the highlights of this winter programme was having local man and Editor and Chief Executive of the IFJ Justin McCarthy pay a visit to the group. Justin provided members with an oversight of issues that were affecting farming both locally and further afield and potential issues that could appear due to Brexit which were very interesting and opened the floor for a topical Q & A session.

Our December meeting took a different format. Instead of our traditional meeting we decided that we would go to Harrisons of Greyabbey for a Christmas style breakfast which proved to be a great success with nearly 50 members attending. The Group managed to raise £415 which was donated to Cancer Research. Everyone who attended had a great breakfast and an enjoyable morning.

In February the group hosted Robert McCullough, Head of Agribusiness at Danske Bank, and Jason McMinn, from Farm Gate consultancy. Both speakers talked about the importance of running your business efficiently and managing cash flow and budgets wisely.

The annual quiz held in March was a great night in Kirkistown Castle Golf Club. As usual the craic was great and members enjoyed a good night with the Newtownards team again proving to be the most knowledgeable on the night.

The group committee will be meeting soon to organise the 2017/18 winter programme. We would encourage members with any suggestions to contact their local branches or the group office.

If any members have any queries please contact us on 028 9181 4218 and we will try and point you in the direction if we can.