Farming on a changing landscape: Are you ready?

An information evening for young farmers focusing on the changing situation of Irish farming will be held in Co. Offaly next week.

Entitled ‘Farming – A Changing Landscape: Are you ready?’ the event is a joint initiative being organised by AIB and Offaly Macra na Feirme.

The event will take place in the Tullamore Court Hotel this Wednesday, February 6, at 7:15pm.

The panel of key speakers will include: Tadhg Buckley, AIB head of agriculture; Pippa Hackett, Green Party spokesperson for agriculture and organic farmer; Brian Rushe, Nuffield scholar and dairy farmer; and Chris Gethings, a young beef farmer from the locality.

The event will be chaired by Dr. Karina Pierce, associate professor in Agriculture at UCD.

The speakers

On the night, Buckley will present an agri market review and outlook, discuss the shift in farming demographics being encountered from a banking viewpoint, and also touch on the opportunities and challenges of possible Brexit impacts for the sector.

Meanwhile, Hackett will share her views on environmental issues pertaining to agriculture, climate change, carbon credits, social licence and discussing issues such as ‘Will nitrates be our new quota?’

Rushe is the current Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) county chairman for Kildare and was awarded a Nuffield scholarship in 2015 on the topic: “Speaking Up for Agriculture – Protecting Farming’s Social Licence”.

Finally, Chris Gettings is a beef farmer from near Tullamore in Co. Offaly. In recent years he has built up his own suckler herd on leased land in addition to working two days a week in Golden Vale Marts Tullamore and working on his father’s farm.

The event

Nicholas Berry, member of Offaly Macra na Feirme and one of the organisers of the event, spoke to AgriLand ahead of the event.

He noted that farmers should come along on Wednesday to see where their future is going and what they should be expecting down the line, with Brexit looming among other matters.

There’s a lot of new things coming down the line. Nobody fully knows what way it’s going to go – but we have to prepare for a future in farming.

For more information on the night, and to view profiles of the guest speakers, those interested can find further details on the Offaly Young Farmers Facebook page.