Mr Robin Swann, the newly-elected North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assembly member, has called on the entire community to rally behind the constituency’s farming industry by attending the forthcoming annual agricultural shows in Ballymena and Ballymoney.
Assemblyman Swann, who is also North Antrim UUP Association Chairman, is a Past President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster and Past Chairman of the influential Rural Youth Europe organisation.
Mr Swann’s predecessor as North Antrim MLA, the Rev Dr Robert Coulter MBE, served as President of the Ballymena Show for three years.
Assemblyman Swann said: “I call on the North Antrim community to rally behind the constituency’s hard-pressed farming sector by supporting the forthcoming Ballymena and Ballymoney agricultural shows.
“For the past number of years, our agricultural sector in the Province has taken a financial battering from the effects of the BSE crisis, Foot and Mouth Disease, and ever-challenging regulations from the European Parliament.
“These events have placed numerous burdens on our agricultural sector in North Antrim with many farmers facing severe financial hardships.
“However, there is one way in which everyone in the constituency can rally behind our farming families and that is by making a point of attending the two big agricultural shows at Ballymena and Ballymoney.
“With an ever-growing list of restrictions being imposed on farmers as a result of BSE, FMD and European red tape, is it any wonder that our agricultural sector has the perception that it is the forgotten industry in terms of public support?
“Now the community has a golden opportunity to clearly demonstrate to the farming sector that it has the full backing of the Ulster public, especially in North Antrim.
“Both these traditional annual shows in Ballymena and Ballymoney have built impressive reputations as being highly enjoyable events for all the family.
“So I publicly encourage as many families as possible to give their open support to these two events and the volunteers who deliver them” said Mr Swann.
Originating in 1902, Ballymoney Show, organised by the North Antrim Agricultural Association Ltd, is one of the oldest agricultural shows in Northern Ireland.
Although Ballymoney Show is steeped in tradition they have continually reviewed and adapted their annual show to truly reflect and celebrate the diversity which the local countryside has to offer.
This has resulted in a unique two day event for all ages, which attracts thousands of people from across the province to the many family-oriantated activities and events. The event will take place this year on Friday, June 3 and Saturday 4.
For more information at www.ballymoneyshow.org.
Meanwhile this year’s Ballymena Show is being held on Friday, May 27th and 28th this year and planning is very much underway.
Schedules for all classes are now in distribution and this year the Show is delighted to announce the facility to enter online at www.ballymenashow.co.uk.
Watch this space for more information coming soon!