Allan and Neill enjoy cereals success

Allan Chambers and Neill Patterson with group manager John McGreevy
Allan Chambers and Neill Patterson with group manager John McGreevy

It’s been a busy winter in the Donard Group.

In the past few months we have had a number of successful events, as well as appointing a new Group Secretary Phillip Gault. Phillip has recently moved into the area having grown up on a farm in Limavady and worked in the agricultural engineering industry.

We started the year in November with a well-attended and informative meeting where Brendan Cunningham, of Cunningham & McPartland Accountants in Kilkeel, discussed the hot topic of farm succession planning and taxation.

In December we had our annual table quiz, followed by January’s meeting on CAFRE Student Courses presented by Kenneth Johnston and Stephen Johnston.

The Group was joined in February by Ivor Ferguson, UFU Deputy President who presided over the Group AGM. Ivor discussed the current challenges facing the farming industry, outlining some of the causes and highlighting the work the UFU were doing to try to assist farmers in difficult times. A lively and well-spirited question and answer session followed as members took advantage of the opportunity to question a member of the UFU leadership team.

Our AGM saw the appointment of Jonathan Carson to Group Chairman and Stephen Heenan to Deputy Chairman. Many thanks to James Carson for his work as Chairman over the last two years.

With one more meeting to be held the Winter Programme will finish in March.

During the last year the Donard Group enjoyed notable successes on the cereal front as Allan Chambers and Neill Patterson won the UFU Winter Barley competition and Rory McKibbin won the UFU Oats Cereal competition. Congratulations to all concerned for some great results against strong competition.

We would also like to remind members that by paying your membership by direct debit (no interest charges apply) you will be entitled to a free body warmer and encourage anyone who’s interested to contact the group office.