- Date: 30 Oct 2019
- Venue: Dunadry Hotel and Gardens
The Ulster Grassland Society recently held a Diamond Jubilee dinner to mark the Society’s 60th Anniversary giving members the opportunity to reflect on changes in grassland farming over the past 60 years.
On the night almost 100 members and friends from across the province gathered at the Dunadry Hotel near Antrim to reminisce and renew acquaintance with other grassland enthusiasts. The assembled gathering enjoyed a scrumptious four-course meal during which a rolling PowerPoint presentation provided a photographic flavour of events, competitions and farming techniques since the society was formed in November 1959.
Following the meal, members and guests were welcomed by UGS President Jim Freeburn who highlighted some of the key achievements of the Society in the field of grassland production. He said it was a great honour to lead the largest grassland society in United Kingdom during it’s Diamond Jubilee year bringing together farmers, advisors, industry and researchers who are all interested in grass. He went on to suggest that cows been milked by robots or cows sending a text to say they were going to calve would have been concepts beyond the comprehension of even our most foresighted founding fathers.
Society member Alan Kyle from Omagh then recalled some of the highlights from his farming career and some of the innovative farming practices he helped pioneer during a 50 year career in the industry. Drawing from his book “A Touch of Grass” based on diaries kept since he started farming in 1952 the presentation recalled early farming development of the family farming business across four countries
The society then bestowed honorary membership – a rare honour – on Alan Kyle to acknowledge his contribution to grassland farming and the society throughout his farming career
to conclude the evening society member David Linton from Kilrea regaled members and guests with amusing anecdotes and stories from his career in agriculture, most recently with BarenburgUK. He also took the opportunity to thank the many people who had contributed to the success of the Society over the years and encouraged the younger members to play their part in the future development of the UGS and the grassland farming in the future.
This brought the formal proceedings to a close but the renewed, and new, friendships rekindled from a common interest in grass saw conversations continuing well into the evening. All agreed it had been an excellent way to mark the society’s Diamond Jubilee.