YFCU evening conference offers learning opportunities with industry experts

The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) have announced details of their upcoming evening conference on ‘Sustainable farming through a cost of living crisis’ in partnership with platinum sponsors Danske Bank and PowerNI.

Taking place in Loughry College, 7pm, Thursday 9th February 2023.

The evening will offer presentations from three speakers addressing key pressures currently affecting the farming and agri-food sector, to support members to improve efficiencies and develop sustainable practices, in relation to farm business finances and the environment.

The final section of the evening will offer delegates the opportunity to question the speakers following a panel discussion, to draw out further areas of interest.

John McLenaghan, deputy president, Ulster Farmers' Union
John McLenaghan, deputy president, Ulster Farmers' Union
John McLenaghan, deputy president, Ulster Farmers' Union

Conference speakers

Rodney Brown, head of agriculture, Danske Bank: With 25 years of experience in the Danske Bank agricultural team and a thorough understanding of the challenges within the industry, Rodney is passionate to ensure our agri-food industry maintains its position as a key economic driver in Northern Ireland. Rodney will discuss crucial areas of family farm business financial management to support the maintenance of a good standard of living.

Patrick Flynn, farm manger and CAFRE Technology demonstration farm host: Patrick Flynn is a farmer of many generations and an engineer by trade.

Currently, a farm manager in predominantly arable farming, a member of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS), and is also LEAF Marque accredited; a leading global assurance system recognising more sustainably farmed products.

Rodney Brown, head of agriculture, Danske Bank
Rodney Brown, head of agriculture, Danske Bank
Rodney Brown, head of agriculture, Danske Bank

With a breadth of experience in many other capacities including as an agri contractor and working with renewables; wood, wind, solar, and anaerobic digestion, Patrick offers a wealth of knowledge and varied experience in agriculture.

Patrick’s presentation will look at efficient environmental sustainability in farming providing insight through experience and case studies on; the adoption of on-farm technology to increase sustainable energy use; reduction of waste, resources, and plant; energy production; and efficient use of time and financial resources.

John McLenaghan, deputy president, Ulster Farmers’ Union: John McLenaghan completed a degree in agricultural economics in 1990 and became a partner in the family farm in 1992. He Initially grew the family business by expanding their egg production and consumer base, increasing dairy herd size, and selling suckler cows.

John installed his first wind turbine in 2005 and biogas plant in 2016; selling his dairy herd in 2016, he now has suckler beef, and maintains his egg enterprise, while expanding his Biogas plant from 250-330kw in 2017.

John showcases the very best of farming innovation.

As the final conference speaker John asks the question What is Sustainable Farming’ reviewing the cost, the land use trilemma food versus fuel versus environment, farming carbon footprint, regenerative agriculture, new technologies, variation in generational approaches and the all-important analysis of the financial viability of delivering sustainable farming.

This is set to be an informative and thought-provoking evening for members of the YFCU and their wider family and business partners, working to encourage reflection on current farming and business practices, aiming to stimulate new ways of thinking and inspire change in this generation and the next.

To reserve your place call YFCU 028 90 370 317 or email: [email protected].