Longford IFA launches ‘love local’ family farm campaign

A number of Longford farmers have launched a campaign to promote local family farms all around the “O’Farrell County” in an effort to highlight the value of local food production.

Longford IFA county chairman Gavin White, a suckler and sheep farmer and agricultural contractor, spearheaded the campaign.

Explaining the project to AgriLand, Gavin said:

“It’s to make people aware of what’s in Longford and to show the farmers in Longford that the county’s IFA is still alive, although we’ve no live meetings at the moment.

“It might possibly be rolled out in other counties after this.

“The urban population is so far removed from the rural population compared to how it was a number of years ago. Our first spot will be to put it around Longford town – we have seven different posters to go up.

We’ll move it to other towns around the county then after 10 days or a fortnight. Rather than having the posters scattered around the county, I think it would be more effective to target certain areas at a time.

“The posters are made to be long-lasting; it’s not a flash-in-the-pan sort of thing. It’s a long-lasting campaign that should be year-round as far as we can manage, moving around to different areas.”

On the posters, Gavin said:

“I was driving out of Longford around Christmas time and there was a vegan poster up showing a poor chicken with most of the feathers gone off it with a message like ‘this is what’s left after your free-range eggs’ or something like that.

However, this is not an anti-vegan campaign; it is not an anti-vegetarian campaign – it’s just a promotion of our own thing.

“It’s promoting our product in Co. Longford to the general public and it’s about letting the IFA members of Longford know that we have not gone away; we’re tipping away and doing what we can in the present circumstances.

“It’s locally-led. It’s my own initiative and we have a committee as well.

“The first thing I did was I put up a picture of that poster of the poor unfortunate hen on our WhatsApp group saying it didn’t look well and what would people think about doing a pro-agriculture poster campaign throughout Co. Longford.”

This got a good bit of backing, Gavin added.

That WhatsApp group was set up in quite a hurry last March after everything closed down; it’s our way of communicating with the farmers of Longford – and it’s working effectively.

“The campaign is definitely locally-led; Longford IFA is leading on this one,” Gavin concluded.