Clarke Black wins the Belfast Telegraph Cup at UFU 2016 annual dinner
Ulster Farmers' Union President Ian Marshall has said that he was delighted to welcome over 300 guests, including UFU members, key representatives from the agriculture industry and politicians to the UFU's annual dinner which was held in Belfast's City Hall on Friday evening (1st April).
Notable attendees included the DARD Minister, Finance Minister, Justice Minister, Rural Development Minster, Councillor Stan Phillips of Agricultural Affairs from the US Embassy, MLAs, Northern Ireland’s three MEPs and the presidents of the National Farmers’ Union, NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru, and the national chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association.
“For us the UFU annual dinner is not only an opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland’s farming industry particularly in this the Year of Food and Drink but also a chance to show our appreciation to the huge network of industry, partners, policy makers and politicians that we work with on an ongoing basis,” said Mr Marshall.
“Over the last 18 months, we have faced some of the most challenging farming conditions in living memory but at the same time, it is extremely important that we celebrate all that’s good with Northern Ireland food and farming.”
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Following the president’s address, the prestigious Belfast Telegraph Cup for outstanding agricultural achievement was awarded to Clarke Black former Chief Executive of the UFU.
Ian Marshall continued: “Clarke took up the helm of the UFU in 2002 providing strong leadership to the organisation throughout his tenure. During his time as Chief Executive, Clarke steered the organisation through a number of significant events such as various reforms of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), episodes of severe weather, the 2008 dioxin scare, and the devastating foot and mouth crisis.
“Under his leadership the organisation has grown and developed and he retired leaving the UFU in a strong and healthy position. Through his work in the agriculture industry, not only locally but also at a UK and European level, Clarke commanded huge respect. His work, determination and integrity in lobbying on behalf of farmers make him deserving of this award.”
The UFU also presented two other awards on the night. The Mary Wilson Trophy for best overall UFU group performance in 2015 was presented to the South Tyrone Group.
This award recognises the South Tyrone Group’s outstanding performance in membership recruitment; securing subscription income; and their successful delivery of group meetings and social events throughout the year.
The Cuthbert Trophy was awarded to the North East Armagh Group for retaining the highest percentage of their members in 2015.
The dedication and commitment shown by the group managers and their staff over the years have enabled them to achieve a retention rate of just under 99%.