Lots to look forward to for Donard Group over winter months

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It has been a busy summer for the Donard group as we prepare for an exciting winter programme 2017-2018.

There was an excellent group presence at the Brexit Discussion Meeting at David and Kenny Martin’s farm in Dundrum in July, with members getting an update on UFU policy and strategy around Brexit, with plenty of debate and discussion around this important topic.

For the annual cereal competition, the group entered 24 fields in total, and we would like to congratulate Robert Maxwell on his 3rd place in the national spring barley competition. We would also like to congratulate Aiden McClean (Winter Barley), Robert Maxwell (Winter Wheat) and Glen Rooney (Oats) on winning at a group level. Thanks also goes to the judges, Jim Crothers, David McCracken, Shaw Hanna and Kenneth Annett for giving up their time to judge the entries.

The winter programme kicks off on October 10 with a talk from Raymond Hillman on agronomy, followed by a talk from Phelim O’Neill from the Irish Farmers Journal in November.

The group trip this year will be to the JCB factory in Staffordshire. The trip will take place on November 28-29. There was a lot of interest in the trip and the bus filled up quickly, with everyone looking forward to getting away.

We have also arranged a breakfast meeting to encourage younger members to attend, with a talk on Land Mobility. This is only open to group members who bring a young member along with them (under 35), and a breakfast will be provided to all who confirm attendance before the meeting. After the breakfast meeting we will have a health and safety farm walk from a representative from NFU Mutual’s Risk Management Services and Vulcan Inspection services, this will be open to all members.

We conclude our winter programme with our AGM in February, with a talk from UFU Deputy President Ivor Ferguson and a talk in March from Dr Sam Strain who will be talking about Johne’s disease in cattle and TB.

We would encourage all members to attend and support the events as much as possible. If you have any questions about the winter programme, please call our group office at any time.

Just a reminder that any members who are not currently paying by direct debit can switch to this method of payment and receive a free UFU bodywarmer.