Local Grain Traders and  Feed Merchants are pulling on the lycra and getting on their bikes to support farm charities as part of a UK wide cycle relay. The itinerary for this 3,700 mile marathon will take in the principal feed mills, ports, grain stores and supply trade business sites in the UK.

All the regional Grain and Feed Trade Associations have come together to support the farming industry through the Farming Community Network (FCN) with all funds raised in Northern Ireland going to assist with the work of Rural Support NI. 

NIGTA members Ronan McCanny, left and Vincent Shannon get on their bikes for the NIGTA cycle run with a bit of help from NIGTA members Robert Adams, Ben Frazer, Niall O'Donnell and Robin Irvine, NIGTA CEO. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
NIGTA members Ronan McCanny, left and Vincent Shannon get on their bikes for the NIGTA cycle run with a bit of help from NIGTA members Robert Adams, Ben Frazer, Niall O'Donnell and Robin Irvine, NIGTA CEO. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

“Supply businesses play an integral part in the farming community and we see at first hand the pressures that many farmers face” according to Robin Irvine of NIGTA.

 “The stress caused by economic and regulatory pressures, the sense of isolation and  anxiety can affect both the farm business and the farm household”.

“We aim to help increase awareness of the issues facing farmers, while at the same time raising funds to provide on-going support for all members of the farming community and their families. Our team of riders include drivers, mill operatives, accountants, sales managers and chief executives and they are working hard to raise sponsorship for this very worthy cause” says Robin.

The Relay is already under way, having started outside the Houses of Parliament in London on 20th June and will visit over 170 different sites representing 75 companies  before crossing the finishing line at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire on 31st July.

The relay moves into Northern Ireland on 17th July visiting businesses in Belfast Docks, Co Antrim, Armagh, Omagh and North Antrim between the 17th and 20th July  Riders from at least 14 companies will be saddling up and visiting 14 sites, covering over 240 miles.

Companies supporting the relay in N Ireland include Tolland’s, Devenish Nutrition, United Molasses, United Feeds, W&R Barnett, Thompsons, Cefetra, Tullyherron Feeds, Gortavoy Feeds, Fane Valley, Moy Park, AB Vista, Chestnutt’s and Agri-Research.

To donate to the fund and support FCN in the invaluable work it does for the industry, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GAFT