Galway native appointed IFA economist

It was recently confirmed that Dr. Edel Kelly, a Galway native with a farming background, has been appointed as the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) economist.

She is due to take up the role on June 18, 2018. Dr. Kelly is currently a lecturer / assistant professor of economics at University College Dublin’s (UCD’s) School of Agriculture and Food Science, working in the agri-business and rural development division of the school.

Despite her appointment with the IFA, Dr. Kelly is set to retain academic links with UCD for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Dr. Kelly will replace Rowena Dwyer – who joined the organisation in 2008 – as the IFA’s economist; it was revealed last September that Dwyer would leave the IFA following last year’s budget announcement.

Who is the IFA’s new economist?

In 2014, Dr. Kelly was awarded a Doctorate from Dublin City University’s (DCU’s) Business School.

She previously qualified with an Master’s Degree in Economic Policy Evaluation and Planning at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), where she also completed her undergraduate degree in Economics and Legal Science.

As well as this, the Galway woman completed her doctoral thesis on land management practices, as part of a Walsh Fellowship.

She has also previously worked with Teagasc on an EU-funded research project looking at measuring sustainability at farm level and on a Safefood-funded project in University College Cork (UCC) looking at trust in the value chain during a food crisis.

‘A crucial period for the agriculture sector’

Commenting on the appointment, the IFA’s director general, Damian McDonald, said: “We are delighted to welcome Edel to the IFA.

This is a crucial period for the agriculture sector, as the outcome of both Brexit and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform will shape Irish and European farming for the next decade.

“We look forward to building on our links with UCD in the agricultural economics field and exploring potential research initiatives, which could inform and add value to policy formulation in the sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kelly is looking forward to taking up her new role in the coming weeks, particularly given the “association’s role in defending farmers against the twin challenges of Brexit and CAP reform”.

“I look forward to using existing research from our Irish institutes to articulate on behalf of farmers and to reinforce agriculture’s important place within the Irish economy.

“I hope that my work will help to support and secure a sustainable position for Irish farmers and their families,” she concluded.