Pigs are still a great starting point says “departing” Ulster farm leader

Producing pigs remains a great way for young people to get a start in farming says Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) deputy president, Ivor Ferguson, despite announcing his own departure from the sector.

Announcing his personal change of farming structure, including stepping away from pig production to focus on his other existing sheep and arable enterprises, Mr Ferguson said he was not reacting to the tough times being faced by the sector.

“We decided on this change back in April 2015, and now the changes are being implemented,” he said, adding that his reasons included the fact that his UFU role demands a time commitment that makes daily pig farming difficult.

“The main issue, however, is that our children have forged careers outside agriculture, and with the years marching on, like many other farmers, we have to make plans for a business with no obvious succession in place,” said Mr Ferguson.

“Despite the many problems and difficult economics with pig production, however, I still see it (pig farming) as a great way into farming for young people.”

Having built up a 300-sow birth to bacon unit near Portadown, Co Armagh, and completed 40 years of pig production, Mr Ferguson ended his announcement with the comment that his involvement with the sector had brought him a “lot of pleasure and profitability” over the years.

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