The board heard from Vice President, Derek Lough, whose report reflected the organization’s successful year and the extent of the support it has provided to the farming community.
In the reporting year, when the organization celebrated its 20th anniversary, Rural Support reached more than 28,500 beneficiaries through its programs, services, and NI Farm Support Hub.
It hosted the visit of HRH The Prince of Wales, developed a range of new support projects relating to agricultural enterprise, mental well-being and elderly and vulnerable members of the rural and farming community.
This year has also seen an increase in Rural Support’s collaboration with key stakeholders from the public, private and commercial sectors, who deal with farmers on a daily basis through their ‘Boots on the Ground’ scenario-based training and through the creation of the NI Agri-Rural Health Forum.
The organization also continued to promote and develop social farming for the benefit of vulnerable citizens and farming families.
The AGM brought a number of changes to the Board of Directors.
The secretary, Dr. Rebecca Orr, and the treasurer, James Moore, left Tuesday evening, after two consecutive terms.
Throughout their time on the board, Rebecca and James have been instrumental in many key elements of the work done by Rural Support over the years, supporting farmers and their families.
In his closing remarks, James said, “It has been a pleasure to serve on the board of directors of Rural Support, to see the organization grow more and more in its support of the farming community, and I know it will continue to do so for the next 20 years. years.”
Rebecca added: ‘I will always champion the great work of Rural Support, reminding farmers and their families that there is help out there.
“I have grown a lot as a person, both professionally and personally, serving on this board and it has been a wonderful experience.
“I wish the new board all the best for the year ahead.”
The board welcomed two new directors – former YFCU President Zita McNaugher and Robin Irvine, former CEO of NIGTA.
The evening ended with a few final words from Veronica Morris CEO.
“The 2021/22 financial year has been a time of increasing pressure on farmers and farm families, as well as an incredibly difficult period of isolation due to the Covid 19 pandemic,” she said. .
“As we enter our new reporting period, we continue to improve and expand our programs and services to meet changing needs. The support, commitment and dedication of our Board of Directors is an integral part of the organization.
“I would like to thank James and Rebecca for all their hard work over the years, it has been invaluable and I would like to welcome our new directors Robin and Zita to the team.
“I look forward to working with you as we continue to serve our farming families.
To learn more about the range of services and programs available at Rural Support, visit the NI Farm Support hub at www.ruralsupport.org.uk or call the helpline on freephone 0800 138 1678, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.