ICSA: Farmer-owned feedlots entitled to ‘fair share’ of beef aid

Farmer-owned feedlots should be entitled to a fair share of the €100 million support package for beef farmers, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Edmund Graham, the association’s beef chair, said that feedlot-owning farmers are an important part of the sector, and have also experienced difficulties.

He argued that these enterprises were family farms, notwithstanding how they are classed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

These farmers are important to the cattle trade and have suffered badly too.

“It is important to remember that many feedlots are owned by farm families. Their feedlot status is a Department of Agriculture TB measure and used for managing TB regulations only. This does not mean they are not genuine family farms,” Graham highlighted.

Factory feedlots

However, on the other hand, Graham said that the ICSA was “adamant” that factory-owned feedlots should not receive any of the support fund.

“Factories are the ones who have made a killing over recent months and ICSA will be insisting they have no access to any portion of these badly needed funds. It is our absolute priority that these funds need to be directed at those who are genuinely deserving,” he said.

‘Genuine farmer’

Graham echoed a similar point made by national treasurer of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Tim Cullinan, who said that the money must be targeted towards the “genuine farmer”.

“Factories cannot get any of this money. Feedlots definitely can’t, or agents. It’s the genuine farmer that needs to get it,” said Cullinan, who was speaking at a meeting of North Tipperary IFA in Nenagh yesterday, Tuesday, May 21.