All set for Macra’s ‘Royal Rally’: Here’s what members will be getting up to in Meath
The countdown is on for the largest event on the Macra na Feirme calendar, with just over a week to go until this year’s rally takes to Co. Meath.
It marks the first time the rally and conference have ever made their way to the royal county.
The rally is Macra na Feirme’s Annual Young Farmers’ Conference and this year it will take place at the CityNorth Hotel in Gormanston over the bank holiday weekend (October 27-30).
“Young farmers are the future of Irish agriculture,” said Cathal McCormack, country manager for Alltech Ireland – one of this year’s sponsors.
“As part of the weekend, we will be taking delegates to farms and businesses that work with Alltech and KEENAN, showcasing on-farm technology and innovation,” he said.
The Alltech and KEENAN dairy and beef farm tours will take place on Saturday, October 28. The beef tour will include visits to Kepak and Country Crest.
Meanwhile, the dairy tour will include the farms of Joe Leonard and David Moore, as well as a ‘food safari’ through the heart of the Boyne Valley – which will include stops at Michael Finnegan’s goat farm and Slane Distillery.
The farm tours will be followed by Macra na Feirme’s Annual Young Farmers’ Conference on Saturday afternoon.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘iFarmer – Technology in Agriculture‘.
Dermot Connolly, chairman of the event’s organising committee said: “This is the first time Macra’s annual conference has been held in Co. Meath.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to host the largest young farmers conference in Ireland. With thanks to Meath County Council and all our sponsors, we look forward to welcoming everyone from across the country to the CityNorth Hotel this October.”
On Friday, October 27, the official opening ceremony will kick off at 7:30pm. This will be followed by a ‘Know Your Ag Quiz’ at 8:15pm.
The night’s entertainment will include a fancy dress theme of ‘Heroes and Villains’. Music will be provided by Over the Limit and a DJ until late.
Saturday, October 28
The main day, will kick off with a choice of farm tours. Saturday will also host the weekend’s iFarmer conference, in which participants will discuss the future of technology in agriculture.
- 9:00am: Bus departs from hotel for the beef tour (Country Crest and Kepak);
- 9:30am: Bus departs for the dairy tour (Joe Leonard’s and David Moore’s farms);
- 10:30am: Bus departs for the alternative tour, a food safari across the Boyne Valley – including Michael Finnegan’s Goat Farm and the newly opened Slane Distillery. This tour includes lunch but does not include the conference;
- 1:30pm: Beef and dairy tours arrive at the National Agricultural Conference in The Venue Theatre, Ratoath. The theme of this year’s conference in iFarmer – Technology in Agriculture;
- 5:00pm: Music in the hotel bar;
- 8:00pm: Club of the year final and best new member;
- 8:00pm: Patrons Night for all past Meath Macra members;
- 10:30pm: Music by the Waxies and DJ until late.
Sunday October 29
- 12:00pm: Ecumenical service;
- 11:00am–1:00pm: Charity partner Dogs Trust will be in the hotel lobby;
- 11:00am–4:00pm: Free entertainment on the hotel grounds for all Macra members and non-Macra members, including bungee runs, gladiator competitions, inflatable disco tractor and sumo suits;
- 5:00pm: Music in the hotel bar;
- 7:30pm: Gala Banquet;
- 11:00pm: Music by the Madisons and DJ until late.
The weekend is open to all Macra and non-Macra members. Full weekend event details, tour and entertainment prices and contact information can be found on the rally website. The rally is open to both members and non-members.