Open Farm Weekend 2016

Farmers who are hosting visitors to the farms for this year's Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend taking part in a training day for the event, at Greenmount Agricultural College. Pic Cliff Donaldson
Farmers who are hosting visitors to the farms for this year's Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend taking part in a training day for the event, at Greenmount Agricultural College. Pic Cliff Donaldson

Local farms have signed up to participate in Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2016.

The event, in its fifth year,will run on Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19.

Six County Antrim farms will open their doors to the public.

Previous hosts Laurelview Farm in Templepatrick, Hillstown Farm in Randalstown, and CAFRE Greenmount Campus will be joined by new hosts Jalex Herd, run by James Alexander outside Randalstown.

The 2016 Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend The Year of Food and Drink theme of Love Dairy will be celebrated in particular at CAFRE Greenmount.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union led initiative, principally supported by the Bank of Ireland, has been running since 2012 and has attracted almost 60,000 people throughout that time.

Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend Chairman and UFU President Barclay Bell said: “Given the difficulties the farming industry is currently experiencing, we are pleased that so many farms are willing to get behind Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2016. To help celebrate our fifth event and the Year of Food and Drink, we will have tastings and/or cookery demonstrations on all farms helping to deliver the farm to fork message to the public.”

Bank of Ireland UK Head of Agriculture NI William Thompson said: “On behalf of Bank of Ireland UK I’d like to thank all 23 farms who have volunteered to represent their industry this year. Initiatives such as this play a vital part in creating awareness of the importance of farming to everyone in Northern Ireland and increasing the value placed on local food production from the general public.

“These dedicated farmers are playing a huge part in building the future of the industry 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.”

Schools are invited to visit farms by arrangement on Friday, June 17. Teachers can view their newest farms on the website and contact the farmers directly to plan their trip.