Farm incomes to go under the microscope at National Hill Sheep Forum

Farm incomes will be the key focus at the 2019 Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) National Hill Sheep Forum, which will take place in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, next week.

Speaking ahead of the event, IFA National Hill Committee chairman Flor McCarthy said that the forum and farm visit will provide hill sheep farmers with a “great opportunity to get the latest updates across a broad range of relevant issues”.

This, he said, stretches from commonages and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to the latest on production and marketing of hill lamb.

According to the IFA, the forum will address how hill farmers can “capitalise on the unique environment they farm in”, given the increased requirements being asked of farmers in the areas of climate action and biodiversity.

McCarthy said the IFA has organised a range of speakers for the forum, which will be held on Thursday, September 5.

The event will kick off with a farm visit at 2:30pm to the farm of Denis Halpin, Hollywood, west Wicklow, with attendees asked to assemble at Hollywood Community Centre.

At 6:00pm, the crowd will gather in Glendalough Hotel, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow (A98 X9C1), for a meeting which will cover hill sheep policy, production and marketing.

On policy, the meeting will be addressed by: IFA president Joe Healy; Department of Agriculture official Niall Ryan; IFA National Sheep Committee chairman Sean Dennehy; and Eileen McCloskey from Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

In addition, Michael Gottstein from Teagasc will provide the latest research and advice on hill sheep production and feeding and James Smith from Irish Country Meats will discuss market prospects.

McCarthy said all hill sheep farmers from across the country are welcome to attend.