Balmoral Show 2019

The Prince’s Countryside Fund enjoyed another successful visit to the Balmoral Show last Wednesday (15th May).

In order to celebrate another year of The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, more than 70 guests from across Northern Ireland joined us at the NFU Mutual stand for a breakfast event. 

Martin Malone, NFU Mutual Manager for Northern Ireland kicked off proceedings and welcome the guests.  Packed into the NFU stand, the guests enjoyed brief speeches as they tucked in to their continental breakfasts from Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund as well as Joanne Cribb, Senior Manager at NFU Mutual 

Joanne said “Our farms and farmers continue to face an uncertain future, which is why I think The Prince's Farm Resilience Programme is such an incredibly important scheme. Not only does it provide practical support, the tools and the information to farmers about how they can get the most out of their businesses, but also looks to prepare farmers for upcoming transition and to ensure they are in the best possible position to face upcoming changes.”

Jude McCann, Chief Executive of Rural Support gave an overview of their work with The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme over the past three years, and Gillian Reid, Rural Support's Coordinator for the scheme delivered a lively discussion with one of our year three farmers. Gerard Donnan, a sheep and beef farmer from the Banbridge area, who bounced back question after question from the likes of DAERA officials, other farmers and journalists.

Later in the day the Fund attended the launch of Rural Support's "Coping with the Pressures of Farming" report, which looks at the issues around the failure to manage day to day farm pressures and mental health issues. The event also promoted Rural Support's freephone helpline for Northern Ireland – the helpline is on 0800 138 1678.

At the end of a busy day, the team enjoyed the M&S Farming Awards. Claire Saunders had the pleasure of awarding Jackie and Damien from Castlescreen Farm our M&S Resilient Farmer award - made even more exciting owing to Jackie and Damien's participation in year two of the scheme. Claire said: "We’re thrilled to see the continuing success of our Farm Resilience farmers, but this award is testament to Jackie and Damien's commitment to putting what they've learnt through the programme in to practice. We'd also like to thank Marks and Spencer for their continued generous support of the Fund, and our work with farming families."

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