THE winter programme of meetings kicked off in South Tyrone with David Graham from Animal Health Ireland who gave a very interesting and informative presentation on the plans of Animal Health & Welfare NI to put in place a BVD eradication scheme in Northern Ireland.
He explained how the scheme would operate and what would be involved for farmers, including what can be done with cattle that are found to be BVD positive.
The second meeting was no less educational with the speaker being Eric Reid and a panel of experts who discussed how the current model used for the production of broilers could be adapted and implemented in the red meat industry. Members heard how a system like this could assist with farm incomes. Eric was joined by Colin Smith, LMC, Polly Dilworth vet, and Gill Gallagher UFU policy officer.
For the December meeting, the members were presented with a cookery demonstration from Julie Winters and Steve Dallas, product development team, Moy Park. A raffle was also held on the evening which raised £111. This was presented to Cancer Choices, Dungannon in early January.
With the increase of rural crime in South Tyrone area, Inspector Keith Jamieson gave a presentation on the Farm Watch Scheme, freeze branding of beef cattle and ways to reduce theft and crime on our farms. He was also joined by Bailie Thompson, vice chairman of UFU legislation committee who answered an array of questions regarding agricultural vehicles on the road.
The February meeting was our group’s bi-annual AGM and presentation from UFU vice president Barclay Bell. Barclay spoke about his own farm and then lead onto current issues facing the farming industry. This included CAP reform proposals and farm safety. Barclay also presided over the election of new office bearers for the South Tyrone Group. William McIlroy was elected as the new group chairman and Terence Fox as the vice chairman.
The group would like to congratulate and send good wishes to both William and Terence on their new roles. The group would like to thank Roy Campbell, immediate past group chairman, for all his hard work over the past two years.
The group would like to congratulate Kenneth Sharkey on receiving an MBE in the New Years honours list. Kenneth was awarded this for all of his hard work for agriculture. This award was much deserved by Kenneth for the tireless work he has undertaken in the past and continues to do so, on behalf of Northern Ireland farmers.
Members and their friends are reminded that the annual South Tyrone dinner dance is taking place on Friday 15th February 2013. The location is Corick House Hotel, Clogher and music is by Robert M.
Please contact our office on 028 877 25973 for further information and to book your tickets.