Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) National Livestock Committee chairman Angus Woods has declared his intentions to run for the role of IFA president in this year’s presidential elections.

The chairman was nominated by Wicklow IFA at the branch’s county executive meeting, held last night, Thursday, July 18.

A “traditional mixed farmer”, Woods runs an enterprise including sucklers, beef, sheep and tillage operations.

Speaking to AgriLand, he explained: “I’m farming on 165ac and leasing another 125ac, so I’m well aware of the market difficulties in terms of renting land and leasing land and everything to do with the poor prices.”

Commenting on his key priorities for his campaign, Woods said:

Farm income has to be the number one issue. We have to get to the situation where farmers can earn a decent living from a hard day’s work on a farm.

Other key areas obviously revolve around key things like the CAP reform package; that will be critically important.

“The European beef market is in turmoil at the moment and we have demands gone into Europe to restrict the volume of imports coming in from outside of Europe.

“I believe if we can do that, that would go a long, long way to rebalancing the European market and returning a decent income to farmers.”

Commenting on his next steps following his nomination, Woods said: “My key priority is – given that I’m livestock chairman – to continue the work that I’m doing in it as livestock chair and continue to fight for all that’s required for the beef sector.

But the next step then, from the presidential election point of view, will follow along the lines of receiving nominations from five other counties.

“But, I suppose really, everything comes back to income; farm income is the number one issue,” he concluded.