Programme set for Mid Down

Janice McMaster and Fiona Patterson, group managers, as they plan the karting night.
Janice McMaster and Fiona Patterson, group managers, as they plan the karting night.

Mid Down Group managers recently got together with Nicola Annett, Membership Development Officer, to plan the group’s Winter Programme.

There is a good mix of meetings and social activities planned with the programme outline as follows:

1st October 2016: Lyons Karting at Hillsborough

7th November 2016: Reducing Antibiotic Use - Presentation by local Vet

5th December 2016: Friends in Action – Presentation on water drilling in Burkino Faso by the charity. For this meeting we will be moving to the Millbrook.

January 2017: Presidents Area meeting – exact date is still to be confirmed.

6th February 2017: Group AGM and UFU update from UFU officebearer

February 2017: SIMA trip dates and details to be confirmed.

The SIMA trip is still being planned for either two days at the show with two or three nights accommodation. The cost will include flights, airport taxes and security charges, coach transfers, show entry, and the accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.

The three nights’ accommodation would include a farm visit or free time if preferred.

Anyone interested should contact the office for further details before 31st August to allow us to firm up details and prices.

The Karting night is at Lyons of Hillsborough and booking with the office is essential. There will be a barbeque for all racers to keep their strength up for the final

The group recently had its cereal competition with the help of Ian Dickson and Graham Furey, who kindly judged the entries. The group would like to thank them for taking the time to do this.

When planning the programme this year organisers thought of getting someone along to talk about Brexit and how this will affect members and Northern Ireland agriculture, however they have opted to let this one sit until the AGM.

By this time there will be less hysteria and more known about what this will really mean. There will hopefully be a framework plan if there are no meat on the bones of it by this stage.

As I write this our new Prime Minister is visiting Northern Ireland so everything is still very new and in the very early stages.

We look forward to the 2016/2017 winter programme and would ask that members support the meetings. This takes time to organise and some of our speakers have travelled a long way. It is also a good opportunity to catch up with each other and gives everyone a chance to realise that there is a farming community here for support.

It is important that our farmers do not become isolated or feel that they have no where to turn. Organisations such as Rural Support may be able to help and can be contacted on 0845 606 7607.

Our own experienced technical officers are also on hand to help with all sorts of agricultural related problems and can be contacted through the group office.