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.

Victor Chestnutt

Victor Chestnutt President Ulster Farmers' Union

Victor Chestnutt is a sixth 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 his 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.

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.

William Irvine

William Irvine Deputy president Ulster Farmers' Union

William Irvine is a dairy farmer from Mountnorris, Co. Armagh. He farms in partnership with his wife Ruth and son David. He has held numerous positions within the UFU over the years including group, county and dairy committee chairman. He currently represents NI dairy farmers in Brussels on the COPA Milk Working Group and the UK on the Milk Civil Dialogue Group. William also attends the Dairy Council NI board meetings as an observer for the UFU and is a Co. Armagh member of the UFU Management Board and serves on the Membership Subcommittee.