Deputy president hails Open Farm Weekend a success

Gillian Wallace, Megan Uprichard and Lorraine Taylor welcoming visitors to Laurelview Farm, Templepatrick, for the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Gillian Wallace, Megan Uprichard and Lorraine Taylor welcoming visitors to Laurelview Farm, Templepatrick, for the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Once again Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend has been a huge success with 21 participating farms opening their gates to the public and with a record breaking number of visitors attending the 21 open farms over the two day period.

Ulster Farmers’ Union deputy president Barclay Bell has commended the dedication and hard work of the farmers who has made Open Farm Weekend such a success.

Deirbhile Clenaghan, 14, from Dunmurry, enjoying her visit to Laurelview Farm, Templepatrick, as part of the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Deirbhile Clenaghan, 14, from Dunmurry, enjoying her visit to Laurelview Farm, Templepatrick, as part of the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

He said: “Having visited six farms over the weekend, in glorious sunshine, I feel compelled to highlight the sense of pride that the 21 farmers who participated in the event should feel. These are busy working farms and they should all be giving themselves a very hearty pat on the back for ensuring Open Farm Weekend was another resounding success.

“I have heard nothing but praise from the wider public about the event and there is wide recognition from our visiting schools that by taking children on a bespoke farm visit, it was much easier for them to grab the whole concept of where their food came from.”

Barclay continued: “Without the participation of farmers and their families Open Farm Weekend simply would not have been possible and I would like to say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work that went in to showcasing Northern Ireland’s first class farming industry.

“I would also like to commend Bank of Ireland on showing commitment to the agri-food industry through their lead sponsorship of Open Farm Weekend which was also supported by the prince’s Countryside Fund, NFU Mutual Insurance, Asda and Tesco. I would also like to thank the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, CAFRE, NIFDA, and Food NI for their help and support. We are already looking forward to 2016 and I am confident the event will continue to grow as we enter into 2016 - the Year of Food.”

Mia Kennedy, 3, from Belfast, enjoying her visit to Laurelview Farm, Templepatrick, as part of the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Mia Kennedy, 3, from Belfast, enjoying her visit to Laurelview Farm, Templepatrick, as part of the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Dylan McCullough, Jack Hermin and Evan McCullough enjoying their visit to Hillstown Farm, Randalstown, one of the farms that opened to the public for the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Dylan McCullough, Jack Hermin and Evan McCullough enjoying their visit to Hillstown Farm, Randalstown, one of the farms that opened to the public for the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Gemma Dickey making friends with a piglet during her visit to Hillstown Farm, Randalstown, one of the farms that opened to the public for the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Gemma Dickey making friends with a piglet during her visit to Hillstown Farm, Randalstown, one of the farms that opened to the public for the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Lynsey and Nigel Logan, owners of Hillstown Farm, Randalstown, who hosted one of the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekends. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Lynsey and Nigel Logan, owners of Hillstown Farm, Randalstown, who hosted one of the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekends. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Tim and Linzi McMillan from Ballynure were among the visitors to Laurelview Farm, Templepatrick, as part of the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Tim and Linzi McMillan from Ballynure were among the visitors to Laurelview Farm, Templepatrick, as part of the Bank of Ireland's Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson