At the 2016 Ulster Farmers’ Union Annual General Meeting, UFU president Barclay Bell presented three dedicated members of the UFU its Honorary Life Membership.
Mr Robert (Bobby) G. Cummings, Greer McCollum and Joe Patton are all worthy winners and very deserving of Honorary Life Member.
Bobby Cummings from Country Armagh has been a member of the UFU for at least 65 years, holding many positions including Branch Secretary, Central Commodity representative on Milk, Legal and General, Rural Affairs and serving on the County Committee. As of this year, he has decided to give up his central commodity roles.
Greer McCollum OBE from County Londonderry joined the UFU and started off in the Macosquin Branch where he became Secretary. Greer also served as Chairman of the Beef and Lamb and Vice Chairman of the Seeds and Cereals Committee as well as becoming group Chairman of the County Londonderry UFU group.
In 1979-1980, Greer served as President of the Greenmount Association and was also President of the UFU (1996-1997) during the BSE crisis. During all of his time at the UFU he found time to also serve on the LMC board 2003 -2009 and C.O.L.L.A.G.E. Greer’s devotion to the industry gained him an OBE in 1997 for his services to Agriculture.
Joe Patton CBE from County Antrim started his career in the UFU North Antrim Group as a Central Commodity Rep for the Milk Committee in 1968. He then became President of the YFCU in 1969 and held various offices within the North Antrim Group.
He was Chair of the Rural Development Committee for two years before going on to be UFU president in 1980 -1981. Joe has stayed very active in agriculture, he was a member of the Milk Marketing Board, a Fellow of the Royal Agriculture Society since 1984 and is a trustee of the Agri Research Institute for Northern Ireland.