SW Fermanagh group starts new year with roadshow

Silage competion winners: Robert McCrea, Fivemiletown (Beef and Sheep winner) Steven Johnston (Fermanagh UFU County Chairman), Johnny Wilson, Churchill (Dairy winner).
Silage competion winners: Robert McCrea, Fivemiletown (Beef and Sheep winner) Steven Johnston (Fermanagh UFU County Chairman), Johnny Wilson, Churchill (Dairy winner).

SW Fermanagh Group started 2018 with the UFU Winter Roadshow on Monday, January 8, in the Killyhevlin hotel.

Mr Steven Johnston, Fermanagh UFU County Chairman, opened the meeting and presented a defibrillator to Stuart Johnston, Ulster Farmers’ Mart in Enniskillen.

In a word of thanks, Stuart highlighted: “This is a potential lifesaving piece of equipment but it is something which all of us hope will not be needed.”

Funds were raised for the defibrillator at an auction at the UFU Annual dinner dance in November. The group wishes to thank all the local businesses for donating and all farmers and their families for their contributions.

UFU President Barclay Bell spoke on environmental issues and highlighted some of the difficulties faced by farmers in 2017 including the loss of silage and slurry problems due to bad weather.

The next part of the meeting took the form of a debate on farming and the environment. It was chaired by David Wright, IFJ. Participants in the debate included Barclay Bell, Joanne Sherwood, NI Director of RSPB, Jennifer Fulton, Chief Executive of Ulster Wildlife Trust, and UFU staff present. They all voiced their views on future agricultural policy. Local members also contributed highlighting concerns about some of the points raised.

Jeremy Moody, Secretary of Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, then made a presentation on the alternative option of tenancies for farmers and land owners.

The meeting ended with an open forum which allowed members to discuss concerns over ammonia emissions, TB testing and other current farming issues.

Congratulations to Robert McCrea, Fivemiletown (Beef and Sheep) and Johnny Wilson, Churchill (Dairy) on winning the county silage competition. They were presented with certificates and body warmers at the meeting.

The next Fermanagh UFU Group’s winter meeting will be held on Thursday, February 1, at 8pm in the Killyhevlin Hotel. Francis Breen, NISP Advisor, will take the meeting. He, along with local members Gary Agnew, Lisnaskea and Barry Carty, Garrison, who are IFJ BETTER Farm Programme participants, will update members on the programme and what impact this is having on their farms.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union is celebrating its 100th year anniversary this year. In recognition of this the UFU is raising funds for Air Ambulance NI. There will be a number of fundraisers in the county throughout the year. A special fundraising 2018 calendar is for sale in the local group office.

Win Travel Solutions ferry crossing to Scotland – Fermanagh UFU members simply pay your membership by 28th February 2018.

Diaries and membership plus savings booklets are still available in Enniskillen UFU office.