McIlveen welcomes appointment of new members to CAFRE College Advisory Group

Date published: 24 January 2017

Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Michelle McIlveen today welcomed the appointment of four new members to the CAFRE College Advisory Group (CAG).

The role of the CAG is to provide advice at a strategic and operational level to the management team of CAFRE. The group was established in January 2007 and reports to the College Director, Martin McKendry. In carrying out its work, the group takes full account of policies and strategies approved by the Minister.

Miss McIlveen welcomed the appointments of Mark Gowdy, Diane Ruddock, Claire Moore and David Brown who have been appointed for a three-year period.

The Minister said: “I welcome the appointments of Mr Gowdy, Mrs Ruddock, Mrs Moore and Mr Brown. The Advisory Group plays an important role in helping CAFRE deliver excellent services to the farming and agri-food sectors and I’m sure that the wealth of experience brought by the new members will enable CAFRE to continue to be recognised as a world leader in agri-food education provision.”

Minister McIlveen thanked the outgoing members, Liam McStravick, Hamilton Hassard, Jim Coyle and Dr Patrick Murphy for their work on the College Advisory Group. She also recognised the important work that this group has done over the past number of years.

Notes to editors: 

1. The College Advisory Group:

  • makes recommendations regarding the development of the College Business Plan to meet the needs of industry, participants and the community in line with the DAERA Strategic Plan and its policies on education and technology transfer;
  • monitors the programmes delivered by the College and makes recommendations regarding their relevance to the DAERA Strategic Plan and their effectiveness in meeting the needs of industry, participants and the community;
  • monitors the delivery of the College Business Plan, including achievement of physical and financial targets, and value for money and makes recommendations on how performance could be improved;
  • advises the College on the marketing and promotion of programmes to secure optimum industry and community involvement in the development, delivery and uptake of programmes.

2. Mr Gowdy will represent the Agri-Food Development sector. He has over 30 years’ experience within the Food Industry and is currently the Sales and Marketing Manager at White’s Speedicook Ltd. (Fane Valley Group). Prior to joining White’s he held a number of positions within the bakery sector including Sales Director for Jacob’s Biscuits (Groupe Danone: Ireland). He has previously served as a board member for the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland and is the current treasurer of the Northern Ireland fund raising committee for the UK charity, GroceryAid. Mr Gowdy has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity during the last five years.

3. Mrs Ruddock will represent the Environment Sector. She is the External Affairs Manager for the National Trust in Northern Ireland and has been an employee of the conservation charity since 1986. She currently represents the Trust on a number of bodies including the DAERA Rural Development Programme Monitoring Committee and the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership Advisory Committee. She is also a Board member of Northern Ireland Environmental Link. Mrs Ruddock has declared that she has not undertaken any political activity during the last five years.

4. Mrs Moore will represent the Finance Sector. She is currently employed as the Bursar for the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and was formerly the Director of Finance and Corporate Development at the Northern Regional College. She is also the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of Stranmillis University College, a Non-Departmental Body within the Department for the Economy. Mrs Moore has declared that during the last five years she has undertaken political activity by helping at elections on behalf of the Alliance Party.

5. Mr Brown will represent the Red Meat sector. He owns and manages a beef and sheep farm. He is currently the UFU County Chairman for Fermanagh, as well being a member of the Central Beef and Lamb Committee and a member of the UFU Management Board. Mr Brown is also a Trustee of the Vaughan Trust supporting agricultural and educational projects in Fermanagh and a Committee Member of the Fermanagh Grassland Club. Mr Brown has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity during the last five years.

6. These appointments were made in accordance with the Departments statutory equality duties under section 75. Also, in line with the Department’s published commitments in its Audit of Inequalities, DAERA took all necessary steps to address under-representation on its Advisory Group.

7. The period of appointment is initially for three years. A payment is made for each meeting attended and expenses are available for travelling costs and childcare costs.

8. Follow us on Twitter @daera_ni.

9. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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