Mr Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assembly and Chairman of the Stormont Committee for Employment and Learning, has called on the Agriculture Department, Farming Minister and agricultural organisations “to bond together and make it a hat trick of superb farm shows for the constituency by launching one in Moyle region”.
Assemblyman Swann, who is also North Antrim UUP Chairman and Party Chief Whip, has attended the existing annual shows in Ballymena and Ballymoney on a number of occasions as President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster and Chairman of Rural Youth Europe
Mr Swann said: “Our constituency’s two main agricultural events are known throughout Northern Ireland as being superb and outstanding.
“Let’s not hide our show lights under a bush – the North Antrim constituency certainly knows how to host some of Northern Ireland top agricultural shows.
“Equally importantly, competitors from the constituency have a terrific record of success among the season’s range of agricultural shows across the Province.
Mr Swann praised the community “for making 2015 a double delight for the region” by supporting firstly the Ballymena Show followed by the North Antrim Agricultural Show in neighbouring Ballymoney.
Mr Swann added: “Perhaps the time has now come to make the constituency’s ability to stage top quality farm shows by organizing a third agricultural gathering in the Moyle region, either in Bushmills or Ballycastle.”
Assemblyman Swann also heaped praise on the organisers of the recent Ballymena and Ballymoney Shows for staging “very impressive and highly enjoyable events which the entire community and not just the farming sector could appreciate”.
Mr Swann had earlier appealed to the North Antrim community to rally behind the constituency’s farming sector and support both Ballymena Show and the agricultural show in Ballymoney.
As well as the North Antrim shows, Assemblyman Swann also urged the Northern Ireland community to support their local agricultural shows throughout the Province.
In his statement, Mr Swann said: “I especially congratulate the organisers of the Ballymena and Ballymoney Shows on the quality of their arrangements.
“It is very clear from the reactions of the shows’ organisers that thousands of visitors spent a most enjoyable time touring the stands and the events. One of the most impressive elements was the number of exhibitors and small businesses participating in the shows.
“This augers well for the future development of the farming community in the constituency. These annual agricultural shows have firmly established themselves as two of the premier events in the constituency’s calendar, and they have withstood the strains imposed on them by hurdles such as Foot and Mouth and the BSE crisis.
“Indeed, judging by the continued popularity with both the farming industry and the public, the annual shows have gained the credible name of being some of North Antrim’s ambassador events.
“This reputation has been built over the years through the hard work and dedication from those responsible for organising these quality shows.
“We also commend the commitment shown by everyone who helped make this year’s shows such beacons of success and professionalism for the constituency in spite of the challenging weather,” said Assemblyman Swann.