ICMSA awards 4 Feely scholarships worth €1,500 each

The president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), Pat McCormack, has awarded four students attending agricultural college €1,500 John Feely Scholarships.

According to the ICMSA’s website, the John Feely Foundation was established to commemorate the memory of the former president of the ICMSA, John Feely.

The objective of the foundation is to provide financial support to individuals who intend to choose farming as a career or who wish to further their education as a farmer.

For 2018, the foundation decided to make available four scholarships of €1,500 each to a family member of an ICMSA member attending an agricultural college.

The students who received the scholarships are as follows:
  • Cathal Sheedy, Bandon, Co. Cork;
  • Tommy Conroy, Dundalk, Co. Louth;
  • Tommy Cunniffe, Ballinsloe, Co. Galway;
  • Diarmuid Collier, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Economic upturn

In other ICMSA news, the upturn in economic growth in recent years is drawing potential farm employees away from the dairy sector, according to the ICMSA.

Pat McCormack, the association’s president, said that the shortage of labour at the moment was a “critical” situation, during what he said was the “busiest time of year on dairy farms, with farmers working night and day during the calving season”.

The availability of labour to help out during this period is critical, and there’s no doubt that the upturn in the economy generally has made it more difficult for farmers to get skilled farm operatives.

“That’s one of the reasons why farmers are increasingly considering contractors who will do specific work on farms, like fertiliser spreading, slurry spreading and foddering,” McCormack concluded.