AgriSearch board appoints 2 new trustees

The farmer-funded research and innovation body, AgriSearch, has announced two new appointments to its Board of Trustees.

It comes as Fred Allen, who was recently appointed as chairman of Dale Farm, steps down as the Dairy UK representative. David Rea takes his place on the AgriSearch Board.

David Rea

David Rea has served on the Dale Farm board since 2008 and was recently appointed as vice-chairman.

David farms in partnership with his father and wife just outside Crossgar, Co. Down. It is predominantly a dairy unit with some Aberdeen Angus calves reared to beef.

He is a qualified veterinary surgeon and a member of the TB Eradication Partnership group.

Val McConnell

Val McConnell also joins the board as a new independent farmer trustee.

McConnell is from Omagh and is a suckler beef and sheep farmer. Before entering full-time farming, she worked in the banking sector.

As well as expanding her own suckler beef and sheep enterprise, she works alongside her husband in his dairy enterprise.

She has been involved in several on-farm research trials in conjunction with AgriSearch and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and has a good understanding of the practical challenges of implementing new research on farms.

She is a member of two local CAFRE beef and sheep business development groups and is a member of the local marketing group, Tyrone Quality Livestock.

AgriSearch’s structure provides a mechanism through which beef, dairy and sheep farmers can have direct involvement in production-orientated research.

Funds contributed to AgriSearch are used to commission research into the improvement and development of beef, sheep and dairy farming.