SW Fermanagh Group Focus

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​This week’s group focus is the South West Fermanagh Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) Group and we catchup with the new chairman Cecil Morton.

​Cecil is well aware of the challenges of livestock farming west of Lough Erne. He spent his entire career working in the dairy processing industry in various roles, from technical to national account management and the last 20 years in milk procurement dealing with dairy farmers, whilst also running a sucker herd.

Cecil’s son James, returned to the farm and replaced the sucklers with a herd of purebred Danish Jerseys starting milk production in December 2017. Cecil is now in charge of calf rearing and the official ‘gofor’.

When Cecil started to farm actively himself, he said that joining the UFU was the obvious thing to do as his father had been a member for many years and had his insurance through NFU Mutual.

New chairman Cecil Morton.New chairman Cecil Morton.
New chairman Cecil Morton.

He says the major benefit of UFU membership in his opinion, is the extensive lobbying carried out with government agencies and responding to consultations on proposed legislation. Cecil went on to say that the UFU also plays an important role in telling the story of the quality of Northern Ireland’s farming produce to those outside of farming including supermarkets and consumers.

Having just been reappointed as County Fermanagh member on the UFU Board and Executive, he is well aware of the current issue. He works with the office bearers and other Board members to help develop and update five-year strategic plans to ensure the Union has a sustainable future.

Cecil plans to use his time as chair to encourage members to attend group and county meetings. Also to participate in sector discussion which can be relayed up through the Union structure to help shape policy.

Cecil urges all members to actively support the Union and encourages non- members to join. He says that there has never been a more critical time for farmers to remind government and more importantly the public, that sustainable farming can be done whilst looking after our natural environment and that they must be aware, ‘no farmers, no food’.

Cecil is married to Kay who is a school teacher, and they also have two daughters currently working in London as an economist and a nurse. In his spare time Cecil is a governor of Devenish College and enjoys travelling, especially in France.