Macra na Feirme‘s annual National Agricultural Conference entitled ‘Climate, the conundrum, young farmers – up for the challenge’, will be held on Friday, November 26, in the Heritage Killenard, Co. Laois.

This conference will be available to everyone and anyone who has an interest in agriculture, climate and young farmers.

The event will be a Hybrid Conference, for in-person or online attendance, which will be livestreamed via Zoom.

This hybrid conference will tackle the economic, environmental and social aspects of climate change, and show how young farmers are up for meeting this challenge.

Attendance online is free, while attendance in person is €35. Registration is required. For more information, click here.

The event will kick off at 10:00a.m with registration and is scheduled to finish up at 1:00p.m for lunch, which for those attending in person is included in the ticket price. 

RTÉ’s Damien O’Reilly will MC on the day, and the following speakers have been confirmed for the upcoming conference:  

  • Minister Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 
  • Eoin Lowry (head of Agri Bank of Ireland); 
  • Colm McCarthy (economist and journalist); 
  • Diana Lenzi (president of CEJA); 
  • Professor Frank O’Mara (director of Teagasc); 
  • Marie Donnelly (chair of Climate Change Advisory Council);
  •  Pat Murphy (CEO Kerry Dairy and chair of Dairy Industry Ireland);
  • Shane Fitzgerald (chair of Macra na Feirme Agricultural Affairs Committee and Signpost farmer). 

Professor Frank O’Mara, one of the speakers listed above, is an agricultural scientist and sustainable livestock systems specialist, with over 30 years’ experience in technical and senior managerial capacities in Agri-Food research, education and development institutions.

Recently, Professor O’Mara commenced his new role as director of Teagasc at the start of October. Taking on the role from the position of director of research in Teagasc, leading the research directorate. 

Another speaker, Marie Donnelly, chairperson of the Climate Change Advisory Council, spent thirty years with the European Commission, ultimately as director for Renewables, Energy Efficiency and Innovation. She was a leading advocate of future oriented policies and strategies: Providing a fair deal for consumers; putting energy efficiency first; and achieving global leadership in renewable energies.

Before joining the Commission, Marie was a director of the Federation of Irish Chemical Industries, prior to which she was an executive with the Kerry Group.