Terence takes the reins in South Tyrone

Ivor Ferguson UFU Deputy President presenting hamper to Robert McIlroy
Ivor Ferguson UFU Deputy President presenting hamper to Robert McIlroy

The South Tyrone AGM took place on Monday 2 February in Dungannon Rugby Club.

Wesley Aston, UFU Policy Director conducted the elections of officers which saw Mr Terence Fox elected as group chairman. Mr David McNeill was elected as vice chairman.

Outgoing chairman Mr William McIlroy thanked everyone for their support over the past two years and wished Terence and David all the very best as they took up the helm of the South Tyrone UFU Group.

The Group will be represented by the following members at UFU central commodity meetings: Beef and Lamb – William McIlroy, Milk – Harper Doupe, Pork & Bacon – Malcolm Keys, Poultry – Thomas Douglas, Hill Farming – Mark Kelly, Seeds & Cereals -Chris Gill, Rural Affairs – Sylvia Irwin, Legislation – Eric Coote, Rural Development – Alan Irwin, Rural Enterprise – Roy Campbell.

Wesley Aston gave an update of issues affecting members in each of the commodity sectors with special reference to the new CAP Reform measures that will be coming into effect this year.

The group recently had a very interesting monthly meeting with the guest speakers being Ms Barbara Lewsley, NFU Mutual Financial Consultant and Oliver Ross from Simmons Meglaughlin and Orr.

Barbara Lewsley discussed the various options around pensions. Oliver Ross discussed wills and Powers of Attorney. Mr Ross stressed the important of making a will. It is vital that if you have children that you make a will and list who you want to be their guardian in the event of your death or else a social worker will decide who will look after your children in the event of your death. It is not compulsory to make a will but the government will decide who gets your estate if you do not make a will. A self made will is strongly advised against as you would be leaving yourself wide open to challenge. It should be updated every three to five years and should be made for your current circumstances and not for what you think will happen in twenty or thirty years time.

Mr Ross then went on to discuss Enduring Powers of Attorney and Specific Powers of Attorney. An Enduring Power of Attorney lasts beyond your capacity with some people calling it a living will.

A Specific Power of Attorney may be a better route. Always ensure that the people that you make as your attorney are trusted totally with your best interest noted at all times. Clauses can be placed on your specific powers of attorney such as house or land not to be sold until your death.

You can revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney whilst you have the mental capacity. Attorneys can revoke their acceptance of an attorney as long as the donor has mental capacity.

Just prior to Christmas, South Tyrone’s longest serving member, Mr Robert McIlroy got a visit from Deputy UFU President Mr Ivor Ferguson. They enjoyed their meeting and enjoyed the hospitality from Robert’s daughter in law, Rhoda McIlroy. Robert was able to enlighten Ivor on the various changes that he has seen in farming methods and even agricultural politics over the last ninety years. Ivor presented Robert with a Christmas Hamper on behalf of the South Tyrone UFU Group.

Caroline Buick is taking over from Leslie Craig as the group’s Technical Officer. Caroline was previously Policy Officer for Pig & Bacon, Poultry, Animal Health & Welfare and Pig Discussion Group at UFU HQ.

Caroline is looking forward to helping South Tyrone UFU members with any technical queries that they have. She can be contacted on 028 877 25973.