Update from Ards

Silage competiton winners Angela Steele, Roger McCracken, Andrew McClements and Sarah McClements
Silage competiton winners Angela Steele, Roger McCracken, Andrew McClements and Sarah McClements

With the Balmoral Show fast approaching and farmers across the country are gearing towards the summer months we wait with anticipation to see if the weather will be kind.

The Ards Group has enjoyed a varied 2017/2018 winter programme with speakers and topics from an array of backgrounds.

Group winners Roger McCracken, David Matthews, Gerard Monan and UFU's Wesley Aston

Group winners Roger McCracken, David Matthews, Gerard Monan and UFU's Wesley Aston

The December meeting again took a different format from our traditional meeting. We decided that we would go back to Harrisons of Greyabbey for a Christmas style breakfast, which proved to be a great success with nearly 50 members attending. The group managed to raise £553 for the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance. Everyone who attended had a great breakfast and an enjoyable morning.

In February the Ards Group welcomed UFU Chief Executive Wesley Aston to conduct the Group AGM. Incoming chairman David Matthews, on behalf of the group, thanked outgoing chairman John Warnock for all of his hard work. and his commitment to the group. Wesley then provided members with an oversight into issues that were affecting farmers in Northern Ireland.

The group again have been successful in the silage competition with two members placed at a National level. Congratulations to Andrew McClements, who was placed third in the beef and sheep class, and to Roger McCracken, who was also placed third in the alternative forage class.

The annual quiz held in March was a great night in Kirkistown Castle Golf Club. As usual the craic was great and members enjoyed a good night with the Newtownards team again proving to be the most knowledgeable on the night.

The group committee will be meeting soon to organise the 2018/19 winter programme. Members with any suggestions should contact their local branches or the Group office. If any members have any queries please contact the office on 028 9181 4218 and we will try and point you in the direction.