Ulster Farmers’ Union deputy president Ivor Ferguson said he is to step away from pig farming due to ‘succession’ issues.
He has revealed that he will be changing the structure of his farming business and will now focus on his other existing sheep and arable enterprises going forward.
While pig farming, along with other sectors of agriculture, is going through tough times at the moment Mr Ferguson says that is not the reason for the change.
He explained: “My wife, Barbara, and I decided on this change back in April 2015, and now the changes are being implemented.”
Mr Ferguson said there were a number of reasons behind the decision, including the fact that his role as deputy president of the UFU demands a time commitment that makes daily pig farming difficult.
“The main issue however is that our children have forged careers outside agriculture, and with the years marching on, like many other farmers, we have to make plans for a business with no obvious succession in place,” said Mr Ferguson.
He added that despite the many problems and difficult economics with pig production now he still saw it as a great way into farming for young people – and as an enterprise that had brought him a lot of pleasure and profitability over the years.