BEM awarded to ploughman

A Hillsborough man has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his work as Chair of the Northern Ireland Vintage Ploughing Association.

Ronnie Coulter, BEM. INBL2613-BEM

He was also recognised for his services to Agriculture and the Rural community in Northern Ireland.

Ronnie Coulter, who works in the demolition industry, is delighted with the honour but says he feels very humbled to receive it.

Ronnie, who lives with his wife Helen on the Ballyknock Road was one of 93 people in Northern Ireland honoured in the Queen’s Birthday list - in total 1,180 recipients were honoured.

He first started ploughing over 40 years ago when he worked during the holidays and on Saturdays at Oatlands Farm, Hillsborough.

Ronnie said: “Jim Law from Oatlands helped me get started. He was an accomplished competition winner himself and really inspired me.”

He continued: “I won my first junior trophy in 1971 when Jim coached me and have never looked back.”

Ronnie was heavily involved with the establishment of the Northern Ireland Vintage Ploughing Association (NIVPA) which was set up in late 1995 when a group of Vintage Tractor and Machinery Clubs with an interest in Vintage Ploughing got together to consider forming a National Association.

Ronnie said: “I’m a bit embarassed as the medal should be going to the organisation and not just me as hard work is done by a lot of people.”

Ronnie’s love of ploughing takes him all over the world and only last year he introduced world style competition ploughing to the Nampo Agricultural Show in South Africa.