Winter programme is in full swing

Members of the Ballyclare group enjoying breakfast, sponsored by the Bank of Ireland, at the Five corners Pub with presenter was Mary-jane Robinson from Thompson feeds
Members of the Ballyclare group enjoying breakfast, sponsored by the Bank of Ireland, at the Five corners Pub with presenter was Mary-jane Robinson from Thompson feeds

It’s hard to believe we have already started our Winter programme in the Ballyclare Group for 2019/2020.

The first meeting was something new for the Group.

We appreciate how difficult it is to get out to meetings in the evening so we thought we would try a Breakfast meeting. I think the prospect of bacon and sausage butties, croissants with tea and coffee was very appealing. We had a great turnout to hear Mary-Jane Robinson from Thompson’s Feeds give those present an insight into feeding hints and tips for maximum production, feed conversion, silage quality and problems associated with bringing animals in from the grass for winter housing. All those present certainly enjoyed her presentation as well as enjoying the lovely breakfast provided by The Five Corners Pub. The group would also like to thank The Bank of Ireland for their generous sponsorship of the meeting.

The next event on the agenda is the joint meeting with the Larne and Crumlin Groups. We are once again holding the Supplier’s Road Show in Ballyclare Golf Club on Monday, 4th November at 8pm. We will have local suppliers and farm related businesses all in one place where our members can come along for a chat and see what they have to offer. Tea and coffee will be available and donations will be accepted for the Air Ambulance.

For all our female members and friends there is a great opportunity to attend The Women in Agriculture Conference on Friday 15th November at The Greenmount campus. There are some very inspirational and educational speakers presenting. This is a free event and to register visit the UFU website and complete the booking form.

Mental Health is an increasing problem in our community. There are many great organisations to help you or your family through difficult times. We have decided to hold this year’s Group quiz in aid of CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) an organisation which works specifically with the emotional and behavioural wellbeing of young people. Bring a team along to Ballyclare Golf Club on Monday, 2nd December at 7.30pm, £10 per team of six, family and friend all welcome.

Tullyglass is the venue for this year’s County Antrim President’s meeting, to be held on Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 at 8.00pm. The presidential team will be available to discuss the current issues affecting agriculture at that time.

We have organised a day trip for Ballyclare Group members to Dunbia, Dungannon on Tuesday 11th February 2020. We will have a bus organised from Ballyclare to Dungannon. This is a chance for the producer to meet the processors, get a guided tour of the plant and production lines and time for a question and answer session. The cost is £20 per person - this includes the bus and refreshments. If you are intending to attend please contact or call into the office to book your place by Thursday, 6th February.

After other successful trips to Kingspan to watch The Ulster men, we have decided to do it again along with the Larne Group. The correct date for the Ulster Pro 14 league game is Friday, 20th March. Our bus will pick up Larne at 6pm and leave Ballynure at 6.30pm SHARP. We will not wait for any late comers!

The cost is £25 per head and includes bus and entry. It is essential to book your place with the local office to secure your seat – first come first served.

An extra meeting has been arranged this year for all those with green fingers. We are joining the Mid and West Antrim groups at Greenmount horticultural department. You will have the pleasure of a tour of the department and you will hear from the experts about “How does your garden grow?”. It is also essential to confirm your attendance with the Ballyclare office.

I think you will agree that this is a fairly comprehensive, educational and social programme for the Group. If you have any queries don’t hesitate to contact us, and remember to book well in advance for any of the activities to avoid disappointment.