Farming Five Minute Q&A: Macra na Feirme National President 2013-2015 Kieran O’Dowd 

What makes Macra na Feirme unique?

Its diversity in the number of activities it undertakes from agricultural, performing arts, sports, public speaking, travel and community involvement.

What are your goals for the organisation, long term and short term?

The short-term goal is to keep the pressure on the Minister for Agricuture to ensure that when and if CAP is concluded that the young farmer measures are implemented in full.  The longer-term goal, which will be a key part of my presidency, will be the implementation of the recommendations of our land mobility study whereby we will target three areas around the country where there are farmers with no identified successor to farm their land and young farmers trying to access land to enter or develop their farm enterprise.

 What are the current challenges facing young farmers in Ireland?

Access to land is a major issue facing young farmers.  It will be addressed by a variety of measures such as taxation, lease arrangements and the promotion of collaboration, partnership and share farming.

Is social media a key factor for communication in the organisation and with its members? 

Social media is a vital part of our public relations and communications strategy.  We have a website, facebook page, twitter account and we use video and youtube to promote our competitions and activities.  However, the interpersonal skills which we champion amoung our members can only be achieved by working together as part of a team and this involves face-to-face meetings and social activities too!

Where do you see Macra na Feirme in 50 years time?

Macra na Ferime in 2063 will continue to be the representative body for young farmers and rural young people continuing to promote agriculture and vibrant rural communities.  And of course our members will be driving on the organisation and having lots of fun and challenges along the way.

Pictured Macra na Feirme National President 2013-2015 Kieran O’Dowd image courtsey Macra na Feirme