2013-09-25   facebooktwitterrss
New Vice Chairman for Strangford Down Lamb Producers Group

Kilkeel beef, sheep and cereals farmer James Henderson, is the new vice chairman of Strangford Down Lamb Producers Group.

“Founded by farmers and run by farmers Strangford Down adds value to their output by getting an enhanced price for lambs, cull ewes and beef cattle,” explained James.
“Since joining the group I have been consistently getting £4 to £5 a lamb more than before. So no wonder last year over 17,000 lambs were marketed through Strangford Down to Linden Foods processing plant, another farmer owned local business.

James Henderson

James Henderson

“However, it is not just the chance to earn more from the market place that made joining Strangford Down one of my best business decisions. The amount of time saved is an added bonus as lambs and cull ewes are left at one of four collection points. For me this means dropping lambs into Reggie Annett’s farmyard and getting back home inside 30 mins.

“We have four collection points at Saintfield, Greyabbey, Rathfriland and Kilkeel for lambs each week and cull ewes bi monthly. Haulier David Angus transporting stock from these collection points to the processing plant.

“However, finished beef cattle are collected direct from the producer’s own farmyard by another well known haulier, William Murphy. Depending on the type of stock and the price on offer cattle are marketed to either W D Meats in Coleraine or Linden Foods at Craigavon.

“Because that is what we are in Strangford Down, a marketing group getting a better price by offering processors large numbers of consistently good stock week in, week out.

“Indeed I find the discipline of checking the finish of lambs on a regular basis very beneficial as regards getting them away at the right level of finish.”

Continuing James, who farms on the Cranfield side of Kilkeel with his wife Brenda, added that,” “My one regret is not joining Strangford Down years ago! Not only does it add value to stock sold, but Strangford Down also operates as a buying group for key inputs including diesel, central heating oil and animal feeds. Here again our group has the power in the market place to produce the right price!

“Formed 21 years ago with the help of legendary former farm advisor Vincent Lusby the Strangford Down group also has a social side including farm walks, talks and BBQs. As ever in farming, the lessons we learn from mixing with other farmers are the most valuable,” affirmed James.

“A family farm is a small or medium sized business seeking to do business with large businesses, the processors and supermarkets. Only by combining in a marketing group can we farmers be anything other than price takers.

“As one of the larger lamb marketing groups in NI Strangford Down continues to grow by helping more members make more for their stock and pay less for their inputs,” James added.

To discuss joining Strangford Down contact; 07525 237233

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