The East Tyrone Group commenced their winter programme on 25th October with a trip to Tayto NI and Drummondmore Dairy farm. The trip was attended by members from South Tyrone and East Tyrone groups.
The first stop of the day was a tour of Tayto crisp factory in Tandragee. Members followed the process of crisp making from potatoes in cold storage to the bagged up final product ready for sale. Everyone particularly enjoyed sampling the different flavours hot off the production line on their way around the factory.
Following lunch, the group travelled to Drummondmore dairy farm in Co. Armagh. Keith Agnew alongside his family runs a successful dairy enterprise milking over 600 cows three times a day. All young stock is kept on the farm either finished for beef production or reared as heifers to enter the milking herd.
Much of the forage including maize, wheat and barley is grown by the family and used in the onsite meal mixing facility. Our members found the meal mixing facility and the discussion on which forages and feed components increased milk yield particularly interesting.
Keith Agnew and his family gave an open and honest tour of the farm outlining not only their success but also some of the challenges faced. He outlined how the business had changed and developed over the years and the importance of handing the reigns over to the younger generation to let them put their stamp on the business.
The second meeting of the winter programme in November was led by Aileen Lawson (UFU policy officer) speaking on Ammonia - the new challenge. The meeting was well attended with Aileen giving an overview of the challenges faced by the agricultural industry and explaining how the Ulster Farmers’ Union are challenging local government and planning services about ammonia related issues on behalf of their members.
We would like to remind everyone of our upcoming Charity quiz and raffle on the 10th December in the Royal Hotel, Cookstown at 8pm. All proceeds from this event will go to Friends of the Cancer Centre at the Belfast City Hospital. If you are aware of any local businesses who would like to donate a prize or contribution to our raffle this would be much appreciated. This event is open to everyone please contact the office on 028 867 62632 to book your table.
If you are not currently a member of the group or would like to join please contact the office and speak to Pamela or Judith in the office. For members who would like to pay by direct debit there is a free bodywarmer available.
Finally 2020 dairy’s and wall planners are now available in the office for members.