The diamond anniversary of the European alumni of International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) will be celebrated at the CAFRE Greenmount campus outside Antrim at the end of July with attendees taking part in activities which will see them travel right across the province.
It is the turn of Northern Ireland to host this special gathering of adventurers who experienced rural life in foreign parts as part of this peace building programme.
Begun as a post-war project to promote international understanding, the first exchanges were between the United States and European countries and patron of Ballywalter Young Farmers’ Club May McAdam MBE was among the intrepid group of young Europeans who made the first trip across the Atlantic.
225 members of the European IFYE Alumni from 19 countries will meet in Northern Ireland for their 2018 European conference and while here experience some of the hospitality the country is famous for.
A trip to Belfast will include a stopover at St George’s Market and the chance to visit the world-famous Titanic Centre.
On other days delegates will journey to Londonderry and the scenic North Antrim coast.
Fun sessions include team games based on the ‘Crystal Maze’ and the IFYE take on the Lisdoonvarna Festival.
On a more serious note, future plans of the organisation and how it can play a positive role for today’s young people building lasting friendships with like-minded people across the world will be discussed at the AGM.
Secretary of the organising committee Avril Herdman said the committee had been working hard to organise a programme which would showcase the best of Northern Ireland.
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming delegates from across Europe and to demonstrating the hospitality Northern Ireland is famous for,” she continued.
“Our aim is for people to leave wanting people to tell their friends and family what a great time they had here and encourage them to visit here or make a return trip themselves.”