IFA Future Leaders programme kicks off in Westmeath

Farmers from across the country, including 29 regions, gathered in Glasson, Co. Westmeath, to participate in the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) 2019 Future Leaders programme.

According to the IFA, the 30 participants involved will spend three days on an intensive course that covers leadership; personal development; communications; farm business strategy; national and European policy; and health and wellness.

The delegates were identified through the local IFA branch structure as members who were interested in developing their farm business and actively participating as an officer in the association.

Commenting on the event, IFA president Joe Healy said: “With so many issues on the horizon that will impact farmers, it’s never been more important that farmers have strong leadership to defend our sector.

This programme is an important and rewarding investment of time for us. Through it we encourage young farmers to take a leadership role in the IFA, while also upskilling them to assist in the running of their own farm.

Nigel Reneghan, Farm Business Skillnet chairman, added: “This is an interactive programme focusing on agri-policy, business plan development, time management, dealing with stress and work/life balance.

“One of its aims is to ensure that the farmer delegates can plan for the viability of their own business into the future,” the chairman said.

The future leaders programme, delivered by Farm Business Skillnet, has been in place since 2013.

Past delegates include members of IFA’s current National Council, IFA commodity representatives and county officers.

The IFA expressed hopes that the 2019 delegates are “equally inspired to go on to represent their industry in the future”.