Get involved and make a difference
George Doupe is a Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) honorary life member and one of the oldest members of the South-Tyrone UFU group.
George and his family are dairy farmers and farm 85 acres in Caledon, with his father purchasing the farm in 1928.
George’s father had been involved in bringing the first Friesian cows to Ireland in the early 1900s and when George took over the running of the farm, he milked 70 Friesian cows – it was this that established his interested in breeding pedigree Friesians.
The farm was also one of the first to get a tractor in Northern Ireland.
The farm is now run by George’s son Harper and his family.
They continue to milk Friesians with a mixture of some Jersey cows.
At 93 years old, George has been a dedicated member of the South-Tyrone UFU group since the early 1950s.
At that stage, he joined the branch in Minterburn and immediately got involved in branch activities.
When the South-Tyrone group then evolved, George became an integral part of it and got involved in the group committee.
George took up the position of chairman of the group in the 1970s and was also a representative on the milk committee for many years.
George also liked to get involved in competitions and entered group competitions such as the silage competition on many occasions.
George very much enjoyed the friendship of the group and being activity involved in representing the interests of his local farming community.
He describes the UFU like a duck, serene above the water, you cannot see what it is doing but below the water it is working extremely hard working for the interests of farmers in Northern Ireland.
He believes that people who do not get involved in the UFU do not see the amount of legislation and regulation that it has prevented from being applied to farms which would, as a consequence, had a significant effect on family farms.
A piece of advice George would give to anyone not involved in the UFU is “don’t stand on the side-line shouting about things, get involved and make a difference”.