Grassland competition winners revealed

AWARDS: Harold Johnston & Sons from Ahoghill won the Runner Up and Silage Cup in the UGS Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition. Mark and Jack Johnston are pictured receiving their award from Jim Freeburn, UGS President and Rodney Brown, Head of Agribusiness, Danske Bank.

THE Grassland Farmer of the Year, awarded by the Ulster Grassland Society, is John Martin of Greyabbey.

The competition awards are an important feature of the Annual Conference and were again generously sponsored by Danske Bank. Competition was high and included entries from all over Northern Ireland with first round judging undertaken by Hugh McCluggage and John Henning. The final round judging then saw the finalists visited by the 2018 winner John Egerton, Dr Sinclair Mayne and Competition Secretary Steven Morrison.

COMMENDATION: Barry Arthurs from Kircubbin received a Special Commendation in the UGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition and is pictured with UGS President Jim Freeburn, Competition Secretary Steven Morrison and Danske Banks Rodney Brown.

The winners in the Grassland Farmer of the Year competition were as follows:

Overall Winner of Grassland Farmer of the Year – John Martin, Greyabbey

Runners Up

Grazing Cup – John Picken & Gregg Somerville, Hillsborough

Silage Cup – Harold Johnston & Sons, Ahoghill

Special Commendation – Barry Arthurs, Kircubbin

BGS Regional Cup – John Egerton, Rosslea

The judges complemented all of the winners on their dedication to grassland farming and ability to maximise production from grass. Each of the finalists were focused on attention to detail and ensuring their farm was performing to its optimum despite the vagaries of the weather and local conditions during 2018

Commenting specifically on the

winning Martin farm, they said: “Monitor to manage is a key feature on the farm with grass swards, livestock and financial performance carefully monitored to enable the best decisions to be made.

“Through this approach existing management practices have been challenged to achieve higher levels of livestock output from grass.”

All of the judges were highly impressed with John’s knowledge and enthusiasm for grass based sheep production and the high quality silage conserved in 2018.

The various awards in the competition were handed over by Rodney Brown, Head of Agribusiness, Danske Bank who again generously sponsored this prestigious competition.

WELL DONE: The Runner Up and winner of the Grazing Cup in this year’s UGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition were John Picken and Gregg Somerville from Hillsborough. John Picken is pictured receiving the award from Rodney Brown, Head of Agribusiness, Danske Bank and Jim Freeburn, UGS President, watched by Steven Morrison, Competition Secretary.

New Society President Jim Freeburn thanked Danske Bank for sponsoring this important competition in the UGS calendar.


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