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NI Agri-food sector needs more Nigel's

The early start to get from Belfast to Hillstown Farm Shop near Randalstown in time for the launch of Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend was worth it. Not just for the Ulster Fry (it is #EnjoyNI Breakfast Month afterall) but also to hear from enterprising farmer, Nigel Logan, whose family have been farming between Randalstown and Ahoghill for the past 5 generations.

Six years ago Nigel took the commercial decision to open a farm shop and restaurant right in the middle of their farm. He changed the breeding strategy in favour of premium and rare breeds of beef and pigs. Everything is born and finished on site. They use mainly Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorn beef and dry age it for a minimum of 28 days. Farm and other artisan food and drink produce can be bought in the butcher's shop or eaten in the restaurant.

Not satisfied with the farm shop's success, Nigel has since branched out into micro brewing with his own Irish stout including one called 'Spitting Llama' - after their pet llamas I assume. Some of the home brew is even fed to the cattle to produce a Kobe-type beef which is starting to join his list of award winning pork and bacon products such as Hog and Hagis sausages.

An inspiring agri-food story. We could do with more Nigel's. Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend takes place 18-19th June. If you like this post please feel free to share it using the icons below.