THE Mid Tyrone group had an active winter season.
The first winter activity began with a members four day fact finding trip to Hungary. The trip included a visit to the Enying Agricultural Corporation, one of Hungary’s largest co-operatives. The co-operative totalled 9,000 hectares, its main enterprise is dairy farming with 3,500 dairy cattle producing an annual milk output of 16,000 Million Kgs.
Other Hungarian businesses visited included Agardi Distillery producing an award winning traditional Hungarian brandy, Palinka. A visit to Lajosmizse Charolais Ltd, breeding pedigree Charolais’ for export, in temperatures ranging from -27C to +40C. The group got to see Hungary’s third largest Biomass plant, producing 11GWh electric energy per year from 60,000 tons of agricultural waste. Enough energy to supply 3,000 families.
On the final day the group had an organised tour of Hungary’s capital, Budapest.
The members who participated in the trip unanimously agreed that Hungary was a huge success. With a dedicated translator and coach, everyone got involved in the trip.
In November 2011 the group held its second meeting of the winter. The topic was rural crime, specifically the measures which farmers can take to reduce the potential for theft on farms. There were a number of speakers including representatives from Brian Keys Tractors and from Tracker Ltd promoting the advantages of using CESAR and TRACKER systems as deterrents to the theft of valuable machinery.
IB Electrics provided information on theft deterrent equipment which is practical and affordable for use on the farm yard and the PSNI, Crime Prevention Officer, Omagh gave advice on practical measures to make thefts from farms harder for thieves.
Early December saw the annual members’ trip to watch Ulster v Scarlets at Ravenhill. This event becomes ever more popular each year and 2011 saw the members attending fill a coach and a minibus. The evening is proving a regular, enjoyable family outing for local members.
In December we had our fundraiser event, “The Weakest Link”, with Ann Robinson being played by the very entertaining Joe Graham. Who, with the aid of his Ann Robinson wig, lost no time in giving all the contestants a taste of his Ann Robinson humour. With audience involvement it’s fair to say everyone enjoyed the night. Additionally, the event also raised monies for the group’s chosen charity, Care for Cancer.
The group held its AGM in February which was chaired by deputy chairman, Mr Harry Sinclair. Few changes were made to the membership of the Mid Tyrone committee. The speaker for the evening was Mr Alan Holden, of Holden Agricultural, whose topic was the best use of grass seed and grass seed mixtures to suit each farming type.
The final meeting of our Winter Programme was in March. The meeting’s subject was farm health. The speakers for the evening were Liam Bradley of Bradley Chemists, Twyla Moffett, Dietitician and Desmond Campbell, Remedial Massage practitioner.
Liam Bradley and Twyla Moffett provided sensible information on how to have a healthy diet whilst also enjoying what you eat. Also, with the increasing mechanisation of farming, the importance of regular exercise for healthy living was also explored.
Desmond Campbell, who also farms locally, explained the importance of dealing with injuries and sprains through effective massage techniques. Remedial massage can be a remedy for common farm injuries, particularly lower back injury.
The committee would like to thank everyone who attended the winter events and wish all members a successful summer.
Tickets for the Balmoral Show are now available in the Mid Tyrone office.