Macra membership tops 10,000 for 1st time in decades

By Gordon Deegan

Young farmers’ organisation Macra na Feirme, last year tripled its surplus to €345,760 as membership topped 10,000 for the first time in decades.

That is according to the organisation’s annual report for 2019 which shows that Macra enjoyed a bumper year as it celebrated its 75th anniversary.

Macra enjoyed the tripling of its surplus from €115,649 to €345,760 as its income increased by 33% from €2.02 million to €2.68 million.

The organisation’s spending increased by 23% from €1.9 million to €2.34 million.

Chief Executive Officer Denis Duggan stated: “We continue to attract significant membership with subscription levels rising by a net 18% year on year.”

He added that 2019 was “an incredible milestone for Macra na Feirme as we marked 75 years since 12 rural science teachers, advisers and young farmers founded our organisation in 1944″.

In his address he said that core issues that drove Macra na Feirme in post World War II Ireland are just as valid today – access to land; access to finance; improved farming practices and a desire for a better quality of life.

Membership boost

Membership was boosted to 10,200 members last year by 10 new clubs and six revived clubs.

The organisation last year participated in Dublin Pride parade for the first time.

Macra received the bulk of its income in 2019 from membership fees and Department of Children and Youth Affairs grants which last year amounted to €498,009.

Last year, income from membership fees increased by 22% from €317,855 to €387,674.

Other sources of income

Macra also generated €283,000 in milk levies; €44,818 from course fees; €114,751 from programme sponsorship and €579,696 from a Skillsnet training fund.

The figures show that Marca more or less broke even on its annual conference where it generated income of €59,805 and it cost €59,992 to stage.

The organisation’s public relations bill for the year totalled €79,781 – which was a 36% increase on the €58,582 outlay for 2018.

The organisation’s wages and salaries last year totalled €741,227 while Macra’s anniversary costs totalled €25,810.

The spend on ‘leadership activities’ increased by 22% from €38,713 to €47,281 while the spend under the heading of ‘National Council Executive’ almost tripled from €19,923 to €51,675.

The organisation’s travel and subsistence bill climbed €108,064 to €140,920 while the legal and professional bill increased three fold from €16,981 to €48,605.

Numbers employed by Macra last year declined from 24 to 21.

On the Macra agricultural skillnet work, the report states that last year it provided training to 1,073 people in over 145 training events and 48 training courses which is the equivalent of 4.530 training days.

At the end of December last, Macra’s total funds amounted to €745,798.