Office bearers


Wesley Aston

Wesley Aston Chief Executive

Wesley grew up and still lives on a small livestock farm in Markethill, Co Armagh and he graduated from Edinburgh University with a Degree in Agriculture in 1989.

He started his career with the UFU in 1991, firstly as Policy Officer for Pigs, Poultry and Fish Farming before moving across to cover Dairying and heading up the Union’s Policy Team in 1995 and more recently the Union’s Communications Team.

During his time with the UFU he has represented the Union at local, UK and EU levels and has been centrally involved in the UFU’s activity on virtually all of the major issues affecting Northern Ireland’s farmers over the past twenty years including: several CAP reforms; BSE, Foot and Mouth Disease, and Dioxin crises; £3 million Snow Hardship and £1.3 million Fodder Transport Schemes; a major ongoing Farm Safety Initiative; deregulation of the NI Milk Marketing Board; establishment of AgriSearch and Animal Health and Welfare NI; EU Nitrates Directive implementation; several farm capital investment and agri-environment schemes; secured £6 million of agri-monetary compensation for LFA farmers; major review of agri food related bureaucracy; introduction of sheep electronic identification; development of NI Executive’s Rural White Paper; introduction of £3 million Young Farmers’ Scheme; National Park opposition; Fermanagh flooding; Open Farm Weekend; retailer protests and creation of UK’s Groceries Code Adjudicator; ‘Horsemeat Scandal’; NI Agri-food Strategy Board input; introduction of Bovine TB Badger TVR trials; and introduction of a mobile ‘farmer health check’ service.

wesley@ufuhq.com

Ivor Ferguson

Ivor Ferguson President Ulster Farmers' Union

Ivor Ferguson is a sheep and cereal farmer from Markethill in County Armagh. He is married with four children. He graduated from Harper Adams University with a HND in Agriculture and is a founder member of Armagh Quality Lamb Group. Ivor has always been a strong supporter of the Union.  He was Chair of the UFU Pork and Bacon policy committee and represented the Union at the Pork and Bacon Forum. He is also a member of the CAFRE Advisory Group, representing the intensive livestock sector. Ivor has successfully completed four years (2014 to 2018) as deputy president of the UFU representing the beef & sheep, arable & vegetable, the intensive sector and also hill farming committees. Ivor was elected president of the Ulster Farmers' Union at the AGM in April 2018. 

iferguson@ufuhq.com

Victor Chestnutt

Victor Chestnutt Deputy President

Victor Chestnutt is a fourth generation livestock farmer based on the North Antrim Coast, near the Giants Causeway. Married with two grown up children, Zara who works in CAFRE Advisory Service and David who works on the farm along with my wife Carol.  A Greenmount student in 1978, Victor developed the home farm into several livestock enterprises mainly sucklers and sheep with his son moving into dairying in 2009. Pedigree Texel Sheep were introduced in the early 80s.  Victor represented N.I. and held many positions within the Texel Board, culminating in being Chairman and President of the British Texel Sheep Society. Victor was re-elected for a second term as deputy president at the AGM in 2018, having served 2016-2018.

 

vchestnutt@ufuhq.com

David Brown

David Brown Deputy president Ulster Farmers' Union

David Brown is a cattle and sheep farmer from Florencecourt, County Fermanagh. Passionate about grassland management, David is a committee member of Fermanagh Grassland Club and has served as chairman. Within the UFU David represents the South West group on the beef and lamb committee. During two years as County Chairman, David represented farmers’ concerns throughout the extreme flooding of 2015/16 and the subsequent Rivers Agency review. He was elected as deputy president at the AGM in 2018.