THE adaptability to change and resilience demanded of all of us in these unprecedented times of the coronavirus pandemic are characteristic of local farm business owner managers.
Many farmers are running multi generational enterprises, often facing many factors outside of their control. These traits were demonstrated as the 20th annual general meeting of the Ollardale farming co-operative was held on May 6 via Zoom.
Chairman Johnny Coleman welcomed and thanked those in virtual attendance, expressing special thanks to his fellow directors and to society secretary Heather Patterson and assistant secretary Irene Agnew.
Irene in particular was thanked for her devoted service to the society since 2009 on the occasion of her stepping down from the role. Naomi McLean was thanked for agreeing to take over this role.
James Gage, an accountant with Johnston Kennedy, was also thanked for his accountancy work on behalf of the society.
Society secretary Heather Patterson outlined the accounts for the year ended 2019 in which £3.4 million of goods were purchased by the 96 members. Another successful year of trading was detailed with members benefitting from purchasing discounts, loyalty rewards and substantial bonuses. The main products purchased were animal feed, fertiliser, detergents, dosing stuffs, sprays and fuel.
Three of the directors retiring by rotation were re-elected for a further three years, namely William Patterson, John Ferguson and Ian Bell.
Due to current circumstances of Covid-19 a guest speaker was not in attendance at this year’s proceedings, however members and directors alike were delighted to be able to provide charitable donations of £500 to the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance and a further £500 to Kilcreggan Urban Farm, Carrickfergus.
Morale was good throughout the annual general meeting with members concluding by passing on their good wishes to each other for health and safety at this challenging time. Members hope for a return to more traditional proceedings in the future.