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Public flock to Harry’s farm as sun shines on Open Farm Weekend

16th June 2014

The Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend proved to be a huge success for Gilford farmer, Harry McGaffin who was participating in the event for the very first time.

Crowds flocked to Harry’s Blackberry Hill farm at Ballymacanallen Road near Hall’s Mill on both the Saturday and the Sunday to view a variety of animals ranging from European Angus and Wagyu cattle to Boer goats, young chicks and ducklings.

Farming activities showcased ranged from a silage baling and wrapping demonstration to cattle clipping whilst just plain good old fashioned fun was also on the agenda with a Wellie Boot throwing competition and face painting for children.

“I am absolutely delighted with the interest that was shown in my farm over the two days,” said Harry. “As well as local people we had families travelling from as far away as Belfast and Monaghan to visit the farm and of course the great weather that we had over the weekend made the event all the more memorable.

“As secretary of the European Angus Cattle Society my main interest is in beef farming although I also keep Boer goats and a number of free-range hens.
“The Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend proved to be a tremendous opportunity to
promote good quality local produce providing the public with a small glimpse of what
life is like on a working farm.

“Over the years we have put European Angus beef to the taste test in a number of highly acclaimed competitions and I am delighted to say that we have consistently achieved outstanding success.”

On the Saturday Hugh and Lorraine McBride from the Ulster Beekeepers Association were also in attendance having brought along an observation hive for viewing.

Beefburgers were served on both days with donations in lieu of payment going towards the Make A Wish Charity Foundation, with a total of £360 raised over the weekend.

“I would just like to thank Gourmet Island and Hannan Meats for supplying us with beefburgers for the event and Tesco Craigavon who donated the baps,” said Harry.
“The Make A Wish Foundation is a great charity that does excellent work with children and teenagers.
“Personnel from ASDA were in also in attendance and again I would like to thank them, along with family and friends, for all the support given.”

Harry McGaffin gives some background information on the goats kept on his farm to Avril, Zara and Hayley McAllister from Portadown.

Chris and Holly Hobson from Gilford with their children, Ava, Isabella and Gregory pictured with Lacey a two-year-old sport horse at Blackberry Hill Farm belonging to Gilford farmer, Harry McGaffin, who was participating in the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend event for the very first time.

Warm welcome: Gilford farmer, Harry McGaffin (left) in conversation with, from left, Harry and Jonathan McMillan from Dromore and Chris and Gavin Davey from Kinallen.

Kathryn Cowan (left) and Abigail Patterson, from Banbridge were the face painters in residence at the Blackberry Hill Farm Open Day. Having their faces painted are Shane Carson and Ben Clarke from Craigavon.

Admiring the chicks on Blackberry Hill Farm are, from left, Reuben Robinson, Zachary Black and Susie Black from Donaghcloney.

Molly Bradley from Killylea is presented with her winner’s trophy in the Young Handlers event by judge, Trevor Shortt from Omagh.

Sam Cooke from Armagh, runner-up in the Young Handlers event is presented with his rosette by judge, Trevor Shortt.

Harry McGaffin, left with Lorraine and Hugh McBride from the Ulster Beekeepers Association.

Silage baling and wrapping demonstration in progress at Blackberry Hill Farm in Gilford.

The Wellie Boot throwing competition proved very popular on the day.
Pictured with judge, Colin Henning (right) are, from left, Isaac, Geoff and Josh Black from Donaghcloney.


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