IFA President Eddie Downey cautioned those attending the Macra Young Farmer of the Year competition in Bantry last night that: “Any of you people heading into farming, beware this is a tough business.

“The troughs – the ups, the downs. All the things that go along with it. Price can go seesawing up and down. You will experience some of those peaks and some of those troughs and it is managing that and managing that with good business instincts that will get us through those tough times.”

Downey outlined research by American economists which plotted the US milk price and said that it concluded that as the price went down to the bottom, the decisions made by farmers never broke a farmer. However, it was the decisions made when the price was at the top, was the danger time. This, the research found, was the time were decision were made which often damaged their business.

The IFA President did also strike a positive note about the industry. “Notwithstanding those issues agriculture, farming and farm family life is a wonderful thing. A farm is a wonderful place to bring up kids and to experience them coming through as I am now experiencing with my own son. To see that progression is a wonderful thing.”

Downey said that the FBD young farmer of the year award is a wonderful night to celebrate young farmers and to admire their enthusiasm.

“The achievement of excellence in any job is something that we should all stand back and admire. Sometimes as Irish people when somebody achieves excellence. Often times we scorn, sometimes we look on and we say weren’t they lucky and what breaks they got. But this is something that should be applauded.”