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Steering Group
Northern Ireland

Steering Group
Northern Ireland

Steering Group - Northern Ireland

Michael Meharg - NI Chair

Michael Meharg farms a 250 ha suckler cow enterprise in county Antrim which includes conservation on a number of protected sites in NI. Passionate about the environment and rare breeds and with a background in ecology Michael facilitates work with farmers in the Lough Neagh area Environmental Farming Scheme focusing on delivering for priority habitats and breeding waders. Michael is interested in how the public and the market can better support nature friendly farming produce across Northern Ireland.

Tim Morrow - NI Steering Group

Tim Morrow farms at Streamvale Farm, a dairy farm situated in the Castlereagh Hills above Dundonald. Tim has worked on the farm since his return from a stint at Newcastle University in 1980.

David Sandford - NI Steering Group

David is an arable farmer & passionate about the environment. He was the Purdey Gold Award Winner 2016, Northern Ireland Wildlife Farmer of the Year 2015 & RFS Farm & Small Woodland Award joint winner 2021. David is also a committee member of the management body for the Strangford and Lecale AONB and advisory member for the Strangford Lough Marine Protected Area.

Helen Keys - NI Steering Group

Helen and husband Charlie farm 50 acres in rural Tyrone with an ever increasing mixture including flax (for fibre), oats, potatoes, apples and pears. They are the first commercial producers of Irish grown linen in forty years. Helen is a co-founder of Source Grow, an online platform to help farmers decide what to grow to suit their soil and local market demand. It allows restaurants and retailers to place orders with multiple growers for delivery within 2 days. Helen is also an entrepreneur in residence at Queen's University Belfast and an Innovation Broker for the Water Innovation Network, working to create nature based solutions to improve water quality in the Ballinderry Catchment.

Jack Kelly - NI Steering Group

Jack farms 90 acres of mixed farmland in east county down with his son Adam. Here, they grow a range of cereals, field beans and graze sheep. Farming with nature has been an integral part of the farm business since the 80s, where management was significantly changed to work with, rather than against it. This ethos guides all activities on the farm, whilst providing a livelihood for Jack and his whole family.

Charlie Cole - NI Steering Group

Charlie Cole a first generation farmer who manages Broughgammon on the North coast of Antrim. The farm, famous for its award-winning rose veal and goat burgers, has been championing sustainability and the principle of ‘forward thinking farming’ since 2012. Broughgammon is a mixed system aiming to demonstrate high welfare standards, environmental stewardship resilience and profitability. Charlie is a passionate advocate for locally produced sustainable food, highlighting that nature friendly farming can play a key role in addressing many of the current problems facing food and farming at present.

David Ford - NI Steering Group

After retiring from a long career in politics, David has more time for farming. His wife, Anne, and he operate a certified organic beef and sheep system on their small farm in County Antrim. They celebrated David’s ‘retirement’ by planting over 400 metres of native hedgerow and are now watching it grow. David believes that nature friendly farming can play a pivotal role in providing solutions to a number of the environmental challenges we face at present. It is pivotal to halting biodiversity loss as well as helping face the climate challenge.

Tony Johnson - NI Steering Group

Tony Johnston is a Chartered forester who runs the largest Christmas tree farm in Northern Ireland. As a forestry agent he manages woodland for over 100 private and corporate landowners. He sits on the DAERA RDP Monitoring Committee, Plant Health Stakeholders Group and is the Confederation of Forestry Industries representative with the Forest Service Grants and Regulations Branch, focusing particularly on grant scheme development. He was a runner up in the 2019 NI Farmer of the Year award.

Margaret Brady - NI Advisory Input

Margaret and Allan Brady manage their busy farm along with their sons Christopher and Matthew, and Allan’s father Charlie. The farm comprises of dairy, beef and sheep enterprises. The farm is situated on the shores of Lower Lough Macnean, with Cuilcagh and Marlbank mountains to the south and Belmore mountain to the North.

Joel Kerr - NI Advisory Input

Joel Kerr farms at Tyghan Farm, a 32-hectare organic poultry farm. He produces free range organic chickens, alongside small herds of native breed Shorthorn cattle and Dorset horn sheep, which he sells for meat directly to farmers markets. Joel is passionate about connecting the public with local food and the role that nature friendly farming can play in safeguarding nature and climate in Northern Ireland.