Fermanagh Grassland Club appoints chairman

John Egerton (right) from Rosslea, the new chairman of Fermanagh Grassland Club, being congratulated by the outgoing chairman, Trevor Dunn, Brookeborough.
John Egerton (right) from Rosslea, the new chairman of Fermanagh Grassland Club, being congratulated by the outgoing chairman, Trevor Dunn, Brookeborough.

The new chairman of Fermanagh Grassland Club is beef and sheep farmer, John Egerton from Rosslea.

He was elected at the annual meeting in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen.

John, who was vice-chairman succeeds Trevor Dunn from Brookeborough who has completed his term.

The new vice-chairman is Michael McCaughey from Trillick.

The secretary, William Johnston and treasurer, Philip Clarke were both re-elected.

The committee members elected are: David Brown, Robin Clements, Albert Foster, Nigel Graham, Robert Graham, James Murphy and Alan Warnock.

The election of officers for 2018 followed a presentation by club member and agricultural journalist, Brian Donaldson, on ‘Messages from New Zealand farms’.

Brian visited New Zealand earlier in 2017 and visited a number of dairy farms in both North Island and South Island where farmers have links with Ireland.

He described a number of dairy farms he visited in the Waikato region of the North Island and also in the Canterbury area of South Island where there has been a major expansion of dairy farming in recent years.

With average dairy farms having 420 cows, the majority of the cows are in the South Island in very large herds.

Cows are expected to walk considerable distances to the parlour and some of the breeding traits will focus not only on production and fertility but also on legs and feet.

Milking times are much shorter than in Ireland with good sized parlours such as herringbone and rotary systems used to milk hundreds of cows in a little over an hour.

He illustrated owner operated, share milking and contract farming systems as well as farms in the South Island where irrigation is essential to grow grass to get optimum yields.

Brian received sponsorship from the Vaughan Trust.