First Minister Arlene Foster and Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen have hailed the high standard of livestock and local quality produce being exhibited during a visit to the Clogher Valley Show in County Tyrone.
While at the show the Ministers toured the trade stands, viewed livestock judging and took the opportunity to engage directly with members of the local farming and food industry.
TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were also in attendance, accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of County Tyrone, Mr Robert Scott.
Speaking at the show, First Minister Arlene Foster said: “Over the last 98 years the Clogher Valley Show has grown from strength to strength. It is now one of the leading agricultural shows in Northern Ireland, attracting over 12,000 visitors annually and helping the local economy as well as providing a great family day out.
“With attractions ranging from livestock to vintage cars, the show has something for everyone. I pay tribute to the President, Capt. R. H. Lowry OBE, who has worked tirelessly over the past 50 years to help make the Clogher Valley Show the huge success it is today.”
Also speaking from the show, Minister McIlveen said: “I am very pleased to attend the Clogher Valley Show for the first time today. Clogher Valley is a rich and vibrant rural community and agriculture is a major part of life and the economy in the area.
“The prominent role of farming in the locality is reflected in the very high quality of the food and livestock on show here, which rank alongside the best to be found anywhere. The effort and commitment of local farmers, producers and processors to showcase the very best of the Northern Ireland agri-food industry is to be commended, particularly as we progress through our year of Year of Food and Drink.”
The Minister continued: “The show’s Food Hall, which is receiving financial support from my Department, is truly impressive. Indeed it is a sign of the Clogher Valley Show’s continuing success that it is hosting the final of the prestigious All Ireland Home Cook Competition 2016 and I am delighted that DAERA has been able to assist with the staging of this event. The competition showcases the fantastic local produce and ingredients we have at our disposal and the final involves entrants who have won their heats right across Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
Miss McIlveen added: “I was also honoured to meet the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester today. Their Royal Highnesses demonstrated a keen interest in agricultural and rural issues and it was a great pleasure to see them at one of our local shows.”