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Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA spent the day on the north coast meeting farmers and stakeholders to discuss a number of current issues.

The Minister was accompanied by new UFU President Victor Chestnutt, AERA Committee Chairperson Declan McAleer MLA, AERA Vice-Chair Philip McGuigan MLA, and Mervyn Storey MLA.

The first visit of the day was to Garry Bog in Ballybogy, Ballymoney, and discussed potential benefits of hydrology in aiding restoration. Minister Poots then travelled to the dairy farm of Cathal and Conor Casey in Cloughmills to see the investment they have made in state-of-the-art calf-rearing facilities and robotic milking. Minister Poots attended a UFU office bearers meeting in Ballycastle before visiting beef and sheep farmer Brian Jamieson’s farm in Ballintoy later in the afternoon.

Speaking after his visit, Minister Poots said: “I was pleased to accept an invitation from the UFU to meet with farmers and stakeholders in the north of Antrim to discuss a number of current issues, including Covid-19 recovery, future agri-policy and the wider needs of the industry and how DAERA and the farming community can continue to work in partnership to ensure the industry is sustainable in the long term.

“We also had the opportunity to visit Garry Bog and discussed how improving bog hydrology can help with the resilience of these sites to nitrogen impacts.

“Since my first day in office, I have supported and championed the agriculture sector and will continue to do so.”