Members of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) in north Co. Cork have elected a new chairperson for the Cork North area.

Agriland understands that Pat O’Keeffe has been successfully elected to the role, beating out competition from John Magner.

IFA sources described the election as “a very close contest”.

O’Keeffe is a pig farmer near Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. He is currently the Cork North representative on the IFA’s Animal Health Committee.

His opponent in the race, Magner, is the Cork North representative on the IFA’s Forestry Committee.

O’Keeffe will take over from outgoing Cork North chairperson Anne Baker.

O’Keeffe has been farming for over 30 years. In 1989, there were 450 sows on the farm. This increased to 540 head in 1994, and to 1,600 head in 1996. Today, the enterprise consists of around 2,000 sows.

Changes in regional chairs

As last year drew to a close, IFA members in the Ulster/North Leinster region elected Frank Brady its new chairperson.

Two candidates were in the running for the post: Brady, former chairperson of Monaghan IFA; and John Curran, the current chairperson of Meath IFA.

Brady received a total of 1,199 votes while Curran received a total of 929 votes.

Brady succeeds fellow Co. Monaghan farmer, Nigel Renaghan, in the Ulster/North Leinster role.

This was the only regional election to take place last year, as all other regional chairs were returned unopposed, as were national president Tim Cullinan and deputy president Brian Rushe.

IFA calling for increase to milk price

In other IFA-related news, the association is calling on milk processors to up the prices they offer to farmers, as they gear up to reveal their offerings for December mill supplies.

The IFA says that the price paid to farmers “must be well in excess of 40c/L”.

The organisation said on Friday that global milk supply is remaining tight, while input costs for farmers are continuing to increase.