Ulster Farmers’ Union Scholarship Programme Supports Next Generation of Farmers

TWO students from the local Ballymena area have been selected as the recipients of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) scholarship programme, delivered in partnership with The Gallaher Trust. It will give the students access to a two-year agriculture-related course at the College of Agriculture and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), beginning September 2023. 

The two recipients are 20-year-old Owen Birt from Portglenone, and 18-year-old Megan Law, from Rathkenny, both of whom have been accepted on the Foundation Degree in Agriculture at Greenmount.

Derek Lough UFU membership director said, “Young farmers are the future of the agriculture industry and I am confident that the scholarship programme will give these young people the tools they need to create a more vibrant, viable and sustainable farming indsutry in Northern Ireland. 

“The scholarship programme will continue for a further two years, benefiting a total of six students. The UFU is committed to supporting the rural economy by investing in the next generation of local farmers and I would encourage anyone interested in the programme, to get in touch with a member of our team to explore the vast opportunities available.”

The UFU is the largest democratic voluntary organisation representing farmers and growers in Northern Ireland.

Owen Birt who has just completed his Level Three Diploma said, “I am looking forward to starting my course at Greenmount campus in September, where I will learn more about crop studies, animal husbandry and how to use the land’s resources in the most efficient way. As a third-generation farmer, I look forward to returning to my family’s farm with fresh learnings, which is sure to have a positive impact on my local farming community.

“I would like to thank the UFU and The Gallaher Trust for giving me this opportunity to expand my farming skills. I would not have been able to do it without their support.” 

Megan added, “After studying Agriculture at A-Level at St Killian’s College, the opportunity to obtain a Foundation Degree in Agriculture seemed like the next logical step to take. I would encourage anyone in the Ballymena area who is looking to expand their agricultural knowledge to engage with the UFU and their scholarship programme.”

Roy Douglas, Trustee of The Gallaher Trust, commenting on the success of the Trust’s partnership with the UFU said, “The Gallaher Trust is proud to invest in the next generation of farmers, as we work together with UFU to support disadvantaged young adults in the local community, giving them the opportunity to apply their newly developed skills to work either on the home farm or to pursue a career in the agriculture sector. 

“Through this scholarship programme, Owen and Megan will be supplied with the qualifications they need to support them in their farming career and will be equipped to meet the various modern challenges that are impacting the sector, as well as make use of the available market opportunities.”

For more information about the work of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, visit the website: https://www.ufuni.org or to find out more about the work of The Gallaher Trust, visit the website: https://thegallahertrust.org.  

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