IFA dairy committee chair Tom Phelan to step down

Tom Phelan, the chairperson of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Dairy Committee, has told the committee that he is to step down from that role.

Phelan said that it is his intention to contest an election for a seat on the board of Glanbia Co-op.

The vice-chair of the committee, Stephen Arthur, will assume the duties of chairperson after a meeting of the committee today (Thursday, February 4).

The IFA said that an election will be held in due course to appoint a successor to Phelan as the association’s Dairy Committee chairperson.

Phelan just last month passed three years in his role as dairy chairperson, having been elected in January 2018.

He succeeded Sean O’Leary when the latter’s term came to an end.

Phelan, a beef and dairy farmer from Co. Laois, previously chaired his local Glanbia area and regional committees.

He was also Macra na Feirme Laois county chairman and served on the IFA’s Dairy and Farm Business Committees and as county chairman for Laois.

He has also represented the National Dairy Committee on the IFA’s Animal Health Project Team.

When he took on the job back in 2018, Phelan outlined his priorities, saying: “Optimising milk price will remain my top priority. Nothing has a bigger impact on dairy farmers’ incomes.”

He also called for the family-farm model to be defended, saying it is “intrinsic to our farming industry”.