Winter programme continues apace in East Tyrone

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ONCE again it has proven an extremely busy year for the East Tyrone Group.

The Winter Programme commenced in October 2012, when a joint meeting was held with the South Derry Group. Jim Nicholson MEP was the invited speaker; the topic CAP Reform certainly produced a lively discussion among members.

Seamus McCaffery, a well-respected accountant from Omagh, and Allan Downes, Financial Adviser for the NFU Mutual, were the speakers at the November meeting.

A large turnout of members heard Seamus discuss important and complicated topics such as Inheritance tax and Conacre letting. He emphasised that record keeping was central to successful farm management and that ‘if you can measure your costs you can manage your costs’.

Allan Downes spoke about how the NFU Mutual could assist the members with the provision of products from investments that could provide Real Growth with returns above inflation through to those that could help with succession planning.

The Tyrone County Dinner Dance for 2012 was organised by the East Tyrone Group.

The dinner was held in the Silver Birches, Omagh, and it proved a most enjoyable evening. Thanks go to all the local businesses which supported the night, through their generous donations of gifts for the raffle and auction.

As a result the group raised £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Care.

The final meeting of 2012 discussed Rural Security and Safety on the Farm. Worryingly, both topics are becoming more relevant in today’s rural society.

The group welcomed a PSNI representative from the Neighbourhood Policing team. He discussed rural theft and simple precautions that can be taken to help reduce such crime.

Dungannon Electrical were also present. They demonstrated a range of products that have proven useful in combating rural crime. One of these, the Guard Cam, can be purchased by UFU members at a discounted price.

The final speaker was David Lowe from HSENI. His talk centred on the very worrying statistic that the farm is now the most dangerous place to work.

He stressed that due to the isolated nature of their work, farmers must be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

If any member has a query regarding this issue they should contact their local NFU/UFU office for assistance. The NFU can offer the assistance of their Health and Safety Consultant, who will be able to assist with Risk Assessment, COSHH, Health and Safety Policies, Fire Risk Assessments, Security and Pollution advice.

The Winter Programme continues to press ahead with our Annual General Meeting in February. This will take place at the new Dungannon premises of Parklands Veterinary Practice. Also in February the Group head for Ravenhill to watch Ulster vs the Osprey’s. The trip has proven extremely popular with all members and has subsequently saw all tickets sold.

Anyone with any queries do not contact 028 8676 2632.