Next in line of succession

50 May 6 1969 Irwin SM Farm

Another John Irwin will, within the next two years, be entering John Irwin Limited.

Alastair John, the 19-year-old son of managing director Mr Desmond M Irwin, (pictured) is looking forward to the day when he will launch out on his career with the family firm.

In this article John expresses a few thoughts as he prepares for a business career in agriculture:

“As long as I can remember I have been interested in animals. I suppose I inherited a family hobby because I was quite accustomed to father having all kinds of pets running around the house – he even had an alligator!

“Little wonder that I always regarded the Balmoral Show as one of the highlights of my year – and still do.

“These and other early connections with the animal world evolved into a more serious and studied view of natural history and its application to the sphere of agriculture – particularly animal nutrition.

“Until now, my visits to the company offices have been more or less ‘curiosity calls’ – as an onlooker wondering what I shall find in the world of agricultural business when I enter the family firm in the near future.

“My aim must be to win my place – on merit – as a responsible and capable individual within the company structure, and to never lose my lust for knowledge.

“I know that life in this particular line of business is not all milk and honey at the moment, and I suppose it never will be.

“I hope that through my present training at Greenmount Agricultural College I shall attain a certain awareness of the problems facing farmers in Northern Ireland today.

“My training at Greenmount has sparked off an enthusiasm in the field of nutrition and during the next two years I intend to spend some time at a modern nutrition plant in England.

“I believe that if progress is to be made in modern farming techniques contracts must be made between the merchant and the producer. Also a healthy, vigorous merchandising industry is government-subsidised, the ancillary industries are not.

“The danger is that their instability could affect a crippling action on Northern Ireland’s main industry.

“I feel we must all set our sights on a more efficiently run agricultural industry in Northern Ireland, where modern development plans are not merely talked about but are realised.

“This would enable Northern Ireland to compete more strongly on the British and even the foreign markets.”

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