Minister marks Februdairy with visit to County Down farm
Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA has visited a farm shop in Banbridge to mark Februdairy.
Ballydown Milk, owned by James and Stephanie Martin, sells home-farm produced milk and other local products directly to the public; including eggs from their own flock, milkshakes, coffee, tray bakes, apple juice, S’more kits, jams and chutneys and artisan bread.
Februdairy was launched in 2018 to celebrate the dairy industry, with local producers promoting the goodness and health benefits of dairy across social media platforms during the month of February. This year, the Ulster Farmers Union is lending its support with plans to create an on-farm milk vending machine map for Northern Ireland. The UFU will be also sharing content on its social media channels highlighting how dairy production benefits the environment and the vast extent of care and effort that goes into producing milk, including high production standards.
During his visit the Minister had the opportunity to try one or Ballydown Milk’s famous milkshakes. The Minister said: “I very much welcome this opportunity to mark Februdairy and the significant contribution the dairy industry makes to the Northern Ireland Agri-food sector. Ballydown Milk shows what can be done to promote the dairy industry and local produce and I commend the work James and Stephanie do at their farm. Northern Irish milk is produced to the highest quality standards and these ventures allow consumers to appreciate and purchase locally produced food directly from the producer.”
Stephanie Martin said: “We are delighted to welcome Minister Poots to Ballydown Milk today. The Martin family have farmed at Ballydown for four generations. Our Hostein / Norwegian Red dairy cows supply the milk that we sell through our milk vending machine, which opened in spring 2021. The farm also has an AD plant which has enabled us to lower our carbon footprint to among the 10% lowest in the UK.”