THE Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) will host its third agri conference on Saturday, January 26. Entitled ‘Shaping Our Agri Culture’, the event will be centred on the La Mon Hotel, close to Comber in County Down. It will comprise a mix of formal presentations, work-shops and farm visits. Proceedings will culminate with a conference dinner on the Saturday evening.
“The event takes place at a time of tremendous change for agriculture in Northern Ireland,” said James Purcell, chair of the YFCU agriculture and rural affairs committee.
“But with change comes opportunity. And it is this driver which will form the backdrop to the event.
“We want to enthuse and excite delegates about the tremendous prospects that exist as they plan the future of their own farming and related businesses. Regardless of sector, the event has something to offer every agribusiness plus farmers of all ages.”
James continued: “Our conference is an event which will provide speakers with an opportunity to address all of the key drivers for farming moving forwards: market prospects, the future support needs of the industry and the absolute necessity to improve technical efficiency levels at farm level.
“As a result, it will resonate with farmers and stakeholder representatives of all ages.”
The day will begin with visits to three case study farms, all of which are at the forefront of their respective sectors. The farms in question are the specialist sheep production business managed by
John and Billy Martin, near Grey-abbey, the Newtownards dairy farm of Roger McCracken and the Seaforde arable and poultry business of Neill Patterson.
Alan Jagoe will give the keynote address at the conference. He is the current Vice Chairman of Agri Aware and a former President of Macra na Feirme
Massey Ferguson and the Ulster
Farmers’ Union are the two keynote sponsors of the upcoming conference.
Lindsay Haddon, Advertising and Sales Promotion Manager, Massey Ferguson UK and Ireland, said: “It is a great pleasure to once again support the YFCU Agricultural conference. Massey Ferguson is firmly focused on the new generation of farmers, and inspiring young people about the business of agriculture.
“Success in farming means always striving to be better. It is essential to optimise opportunities and have a clear strategy to realise your ambitions. Farming will always be a challenging profession but the long-term prospects for agriculture are strong. This weekend’s programme is about listening, learning and sharing – to make the most of your future.”
Commenting on the significance of the upcoming conference, union president Ivor Ferguson said: “The UFU is delighted to have the opportunity to sponsor the YFCU’s ‘Shaping Our Agri Culture conference’.
“This is yet another example, following on from the joint ‘Land Mobility’ initiative, of the two organisations working together on the major objective of delivering genuine and meaningful betterment for the farming industry in Northern Ireland.”
The conference fee, which includes lunch and dinner, is £35 per head for YFCU members, £45 for Ulster Farmers’ Union members, and £55 for non-members.