East Tyrone members commenced their winter programme by joining South Tyrone Group for a study tour of Dowth Hall Estate and the 400 cow dairy farm of Mr Michael McDonald in Co. Meath.
A special thanks to Denise and Alison, South Tyrone group managers for organising this enjoyable event for our members.
The winter meetings commenced on Tuesday 10th October with Phelim O’Neill, Markets and EU Specialist for IFJ. Phelim provided us with a great insight into how Brexit could affect Northern Ireland markets and more so our relationship with United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Phelim believes Brexit will provide many future trade opportunities for Northern Ireland on the world platform.
In November the group welcomed Andrew Patton, a member of the Holstein Young Breeder Society. Andrew provided an informative presentation on his experiences of farming in Canada and Australia, plus some background on how his family farm operates in Newtownards.
November also saw the judging of our annual silage competition by Geoffrey Read of Thompsons Feeds. The winners of the beef silo were Leonard and Robert McIvor. The winner of the alternative forages and dairy silo was William Henderson. The group wishes Leonard, Robert and William all the best in the national competition.
The December meeting was a table quiz and raffle held in the Royal Hotel on Tuesday, December 12, in Aid of Northern Ireland Air Ambulance. The group supported the event extremely well and we would like to thank the quiz master Mr Wesley Hutton for enabling us to raise £455.
A sincere thank you to Briege Mulholland, from Northern Ireland Ambulance, who gave us an update on how the air ambulance has been able to save many lives, and has attended a number of farm accidents throughout Northern Ireland.
The event would not have been such a success without the donations of prizes towards the raffle from a large number of local businesses. Yet again we greatly appreciate the generosity of these businesses in supporting our fund raising effort.
All members are reminded to call into the office to collect your 2018 UFU Diary, wall planner and to purchase a UFU Charity century calendar in aid of the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance. Calendars are priced at £10 and make an ideal Christmas gift.
As we approach the end of 2017 the group would like to wish all members a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.