Winter programme gets underway in Ballyclare

Ballyclare members who attended the First Aid course
Ballyclare members who attended the First Aid course

It’s hard to believe that it is the start of the Ballyclare Group’s Winter Programme.

We have had two very successful meetings so far. Our first meeting was held in The Five Corners Bar and restaurant on Monday, October 1. The topic for the evening was ‘Animal nutrition and making the most of your winter fodder’ .

The speakers for the evening were Gareth Gibson and Kevin Doyle, from Phileo UK and Ireland. They are part of an international business managing the sales, distribution and technical support on a range of Phileo products.

Also speaking on the evening was Alan Boyd, from United Feeds. They all presented very useful information about getting the most from your silage, advice on mixing rations and types of ration to maximize the output from your farming systems.

When the meeting was brought to a close, the members present enjoyed a very relaxed cup of coffee and chat with friends.

The second meeting was held in Ballyclare Golf club on Thursday, October 18. A large group of members were present for the First Aid Training. The course and first aid kits were sponsored by CAFRE and presented by Global Horizon Skills.

This was a very interesting and informative evening which I would highly recommend. You never know when you may be called upon to deal with an accident or injuries at home or in the work place.

We were told what to do in the event of an emergency, how to cope with the situation plus basic skills which could ultimately save a life. Certainly a very worthwhile exercise for all involved.

The next meeting for the Ballyclare Group, will be held on Monday, November 5, at Greenmount College at 8pm. This is the joint meeting with the Crumlin and Larne groups of the Ulster Farmer’s Union, so everyone is very welcome.

John Gilliland, chairman of the Ammonia working group, Aileen Lawson, UFU Senior Policy Officer, and Selina Alexander will be talking about The New Challenges faced by farmers by the Ammonia regulations.

For all those with a need for speed, we will be having a Go Karting Grand Prix event on Tuesday, December 11, at 7.45pm in Speed Karting, Doagh.

The price is £30 per head and anyone interested can contact the office on 93352089 to book their place.

The UFU President’s Road Show will be held once again in the Tullyglass Hotel on Wednesday, January 16. All members are encouraged to attend to have their say on the way forward.

The next meeting is entitled ‘Money Matters – Grants, subsidies and the road to profitability.’ This is a topic we should all be interested in, so come along to the Five Corners Inn at 8pm on Monday, February 4, to hear more.

The final meeting of the season is a fundraiser for Air Ambulance, the UFU’s chosen charity. We are hoping to hold “Strictly come Dancing – The Dance Off” in the Hilton Hotel on Saturday, March 2.

This will be a great night’s craic for members and their families. We will be looking for volunteers to participate in the event. If you are interested in taking part please contact the office as soon as possible.

During the summer months the UFU Annual cereals competition was judged. The group had some fantastic weather this year so the judges were very impressed with the standard of crops grown.

The Ballyclare Group winners were:

Spring Barley: 1st, Johnny and Neil Coleman; 2nd, William Johnston.

Winter Wheat: 1st, Kyle McCrea; 2nd, Kyle McCrea

Winter Barley: 1st, Kyle McCrea

Ballyclare Group’s annual silage competition will be running with the winners of each category going through to the UFU’s Northern Ireland final. Details and dates are still to be announced, but anyone who wants to enter their silage can contact us.

As a UFU member you have access to our Group Technical officer, Robert Cochrane.His role involves negotiating, investigating, report writing and representation. He has specialist knowledge in planning, cross compliance, environmental issues and has been involved in many appeals.

If you feel his services would be helpful in any way we can put him in touch with you to help with any of these types of issues.

The Group managers, Ian Kernohan and myself, plus all the staff, Lorraine, Carrie Anne, Florence, Maureen, Joanne and Emma will be only too happy to help with any enquiries.