Members of the public are encouraged to experience their local farm for free in one of the biggest awareness initiatives of its kind in Northern Ireland.
Twenty one farms from across the province are participating in the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend initiative to highlight where our food comes from, the benefits of eating local, as well as giving visitors the chance to sample the world-class ingredients that are produced right here in Northern Ireland.
Taking place across Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June, the initiative is hoping to attract upwards of 16,000 visitors from rural and urban towns and cities. Each farm will also have fun activities throughout the weekend such as petting farms, pony rides, competitions, live music and demonstrations.
Participating farms include Ballyriff Buffalo Farm in Magherafelt, which is the only supplier of water buffalo in Northern Ireland and featured on The Farmers Country Showdown programme, Broughgammon Farm in Antrim, which is famed for its goats and the equine breeding and riding centre at CAFRE in Enniskillen.
Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend Chairman and UFU Deputy President David Brown said, “Now more than ever farmers need to be telling their story and this initiative is a great way for us to engage with the public and show them the industry up-close. Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend has become an important part of our work, allowing us to reach out to the non-farming community to promote the vital work of farmers across Northern Ireland. Many farms have been handed down through the generations, passing on skills and looking after livestock and the land, and so the event this summer allows us to celebrate the individual farm’s story both in the present and in the past.”
Bank of Ireland Agriculture Manager NI Richard Primrose added, “It’s great to see 21 farms volunteering to represent their industry this year. We have a good mix of existing farms who have taken part before and new farms opening their gates for the first time to take part in Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend. We are fortunate in Northern Ireland to have such wonderful local food and drink produce and this initiative helps the general public trace their food story back to the field and farm.
“These dedicated farmers are playing a commendable role in communicating the important job farmers play in the supply chain to a wider audience and we all owe them a debt of thanks for their effort and commitment. We look forward to again welcoming our local communities to Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend.”
Visitors can plan their trip and find out what activities are available at each farm by visiting www.openfarmweekend.com
This Ulster Farmers’ Union led initiative, principally supported by the Bank of Ireland UK, has been running since 2012 and has attracted in excess of 100,000 visitors. The event is also sponsored by Asda, Cranswick, the Livestock and Meat Commission, NFU Mutual and Irish Farmers Journal and supported by Food NI, CAFRE, DAERA and the YFCU.
Stay up to date on Twitter @BOIopenfarm, Open Farm Weekend on Facebook and Instagram.
List of 2019 participating farms in alphabetical order:
- Acton House Farm, Acton Road, Poyntzpass, Newry, Co. Armagh, BT35 6TB
- Armagh Apple Farm, Ballinteggart House, 73 Drumnasoo Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh, BT62 4E
- Blackberry Hill Farm, Ballymacanallen Road, Gilford, Co. Armagh, BT63 6AE
- Broughgammon, 50 Straid Road, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, BT54 6NP
- Bullsbrook Farm, 26 Black Bog Road, Dromore, Co. Down, BT25 1EH
- CAFRE Enniskillen (Equine Centre), 2 Mullaghmeen Road, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, BT74 4GF
- Castlescreen Farm, 32 Castlescreen Road, Downpatrick, Co. Down, BT30 8TE
- Churchview Farm, 17 Kilkinamurray Road, Ballyward, Co. Down, BT31 9QR
- D&D Holland, 50 Blakes Road, Articlave, Co. Londonderry, BT51 4UE
- Donagh Cottage Farm, 15 Lisnasure Road, Donacloney, Craigavon, BT66 7NN, Co. Down
- Drumrammer Farm, 15 Drumrammer Road, Ahoghill, Co. Antrim, BT42 2RD
- Hillstown Farm, 128 Glebe Road, Randalstown, Co. Antrim, BT41 3DT
- Laurel View Farm, 18 Knowehead Road, Templepatrick, Co. Antrim, BT39 0BX
- Long Meadow Farm, 87 Loughgall Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh, BT62 4EG
- Millbank Farm, 11 Mill Road, Killinchy, Newtownards, Co. Down, BT23 6PG
- Mossbrook Farm, 20 Mossbrook Road, Carryduff, Co. Down, BT8 8AJ
- The Orble, 9 Urbal Road, Dervock, Co. Antrim, BT53 8DQ
- Ranelly Farm, 2-4 Camowen Road, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, BT79 0HD
- Walls Farm, 27 Bryansford Road, Hilltown, Co. Down, BT34 5XY