As the evenings are getting longer and the summer months are fast approaching everyone is hoping for a good summer in the Ards peninsula and further afield.
The 2015/16 Winter Programme has now ended proving to be a great success as members enjoyed an array of speakers and activities.
In December the group welcomed Ed Patterson from NFU Mutual Risk Management and also former Ulster and Ireland Rugby player Simon Best. Ed was able to provide useful insight into the importance of Health and Safety on farms which was then followed by Simon. Simon talked about his career as a professional rugby player and also as a farmer, there was a Q & A session which gave members the opportunity to hear rugby stories and also gave Simon the opportunity to relay the importance of safety on farms.
In February the Ards Group welcomed UFU Chief Executive Wesley Aston to conduct the Group AGM and then Wesley provided members with an oversight into issues that were affecting farmers in Northern Ireland. Wesley then presented awards to our local prize winners. The Ards Group again has experienced success at a National level with Richard and Will Corrie from Smiddie Hill Farm placed third in the alternative forage class. Outgoing chairman Fergal Watson thanked the Group for all their support and wished incoming Chairman John Warnock all the best in his new role.
The annual quiz was held in March at Kirkstown Golf Club, as Branch rivalry simmered it was the Newtownards Branch that proved to be the most knowledgeable in the end. The night was enjoyed by all and it was great to see some local YFCU teams involved.
The committee have met to plan the Winter Programme for 2016/17, with some very interesting guest speakers in the mix the group will hopefully continue to grow.
There are plans to organise a trip to the AFBI grass breeding programme at Loughgall and a farm visit in June 2016. Contact the office on 028 9181 4218 if you would be interested in attending.