The quarterly meeting of Danske Bank’s agribusiness team took place recently when agribusiness managers and advisors from across Northern Ireland met at CAFRE’s Loughry Campus in Cookstown.
These meetings are organised to allow the bank’s dedicated agri bankers to update their knowledge on the agricultural sector and hear at first hand from industry experts.
The opening presentation was delivered by Ulster Farmers’ Union president Ian Marshall who updated those present on CAP reform and its likely impact on the farming industry in Northern Ireland. This useful presentation was followed by a good Q&A session with some detailed questioning on specific aspects of the proposals.
The focus then switched to beef with an informative presentation by Francis Lively from AFBI on the latest research on beef production featuring the benefits of successful calving at 24 months; improving herd fertility; beef genetics and dairy – origin beef production. Again this was followed by a useful round table discussion.
Lunch followed in the campus restaurant which always provides a good opportunity for further discussion on the issues of the day within the team
The afternoon session then focused on the work at CAFRE Loughry Campus with presentations from John Courtenay and Joy Alexander on the extensive range of student courses available and some of the recent facility developments at the campus. This was followed by a tour, led by Dermot Rodgers, looking at some of the main areas in the Food Technology Centre.
The help provided by CAFRE staff in facilitating this meeting is acknowledged as was the input from all of the speakers.
Once again the consensus was that this had been a very useful meeting giving Danske Bank’s agribusiness managers a good insight into current industry issues and the importance of education to the success of our agri-food industry in Northern Ireland. This helps further improve their industry knowledge allowing them to engage confidently with their farming customers and increasingly clients of other banks.