Ulster Farmers’ Union president Barclay Bell has said that he was delighted to welcome over 280 guests, including UFU members, key representatives from the agriculture industry and politicians to the UFU’s annual dinner which was held in The Slieve Donard Hotel on Friday evening (31st March).
Notable attendees included the Secretary of State, Councillor Stan Phillips of Agricultural Affairs from the US Embassy, MLA’s, Northern Ireland’s three MEP’s and the presidents of the National Farmers’ Union, NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru, and the Irish Farmers’ Association.
“For us the UFU annual dinner is not only an opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland’s farming industry but also a chance to show our appreciation to the huge network of industry, partners, policy makers and politicians that we work with on an ongoing basis,” said Mr Bell.
“We are facing an uncertain time due to Brexit negotiations but at the same time, it is extremely important that we come together as an industry and celebrate all that’s good with Northern Ireland food and farming.”
Following the president’s address, the prestigious Belfast Telegraph Cup for outstanding agricultural achievement was awarded to Anne Morrison, secretary and non-exec director of Aberdeen Angus Quality Beef Ltd (AAQB).
Barclay Bell continued: “For over 20 years Anne has been a driving force behind the promotion and marketing of Aberdeen Angus beef in Northern Ireland. Since 1998, she has been the non-exec director and secretary of the Aberdeen Angus Quality beef Ltd (AAQB).
For over 20 years Anne has been a driving force behind the promotion and marketing of Aberdeen Angus beef in Northern Ireland. Since 1998, she has been the non-exec director and secretary of the Aberdeen Angus Quality beef Ltd (AAQB).Barclay Bell, Ulster Farmers’ Union president
“Anne has worked hard to build relationships with meat processors and retailers, such as Foyle Meats and Tesco, on behalf of the co-operative and has been instrumental in recruiting AAQB members.
“As a result of Anne’s hard work and clever marketing, the AAQB has gone from strength to strength.”
The UFU also presented two other awards on the night. The Mary Wilson Trophy for best overall UFU group performance in 2016 was presented to the Armagh Down Group.
This award recognises the Armagh Down Group’s outstanding performance in membership recruitment; securing subscription income; and their successful delivery of group meetings and social events throughout the year.
The Cuthbert Trophy was awarded to the West Antrim Group for retaining the highest percentage of their members in 2016.
The dedication and commitment shown by the group managers and their staff over the years have enabled them to achieve a retention rate of over 96%.