Lagan Group reflects on successful 2016

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2016 was another successful year for the Lagan Group, with a range of meetings focusing on important issues facing members and two trips; one of which saw the group travel to Scotland.

The ‘Scotland Trip’ took members to visit the Roan Family, who have been dairy farmers since 1898 and have two farms in the Galloway area of Dumfries. In September 2015, the family decided they wanted to make a dream become reality and decided to launch ‘Roan’s Dairy Free Range Milk’. The Roan family now process milk produced on farm, and sell it directly to their customers - ‘from farm to doorstep’.

Members were interested in hearing the Roan family’s story in full, about how the stresses of the crisis in the milk industry allowed them to diversify and ensure the business they love remained.

The second farm on the Scotland trip took members to the hills of the Stranraer area, where they met the Brooke family. With over 2,000 acres of land, the Brooke family are kept busy with their Charolais cattle and mountain sheep, as well as renting out some of their land for a large wind farm.

The Brooke family again gave an in-depth insight of the origins of their farm, which once was part of a large estate, to how it got to operate at the level it is at today.

The Lagan Group finished 2016 with a lunch presentation from Chris Smith from the AGCO group. Members enjoyed a fry at the Tannery, followed by a presentation from Chris, who gave an overview into the AGCO Group, who owns brands such as Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra.

The group officers would like to remind members of the upcoming Ulster Farmers’ Union Winter Road Shows, which will take a different format to the president’s area meetings. This year the roadshows will be under the title ‘the future of farming’, focusing on key areas such as Brexit, volatility, the supply chain and succession planning to name a few.

All members are encouraged to attend the roadshow which will take place on January 25 at the Millbrook Lodge, Ballynahinch, beginning at 8pm.