Macra National Conference to take place online next month

Macra na Feirme National Conference is moving to an online format this year, the association has confirmed.

The young farmer representative organisation will host the conference together with the European Council of Young Farmers, Devenish and the Global Network of Lighthouse Farms.

The conference this year will be in the form of a webinar titled “One Health: From soil to society” on Tuesday, November 13.

This webinar will explore the concerns of both the next generation of farmers and consumers regarding animal-sourced foods.

Research and farm innovations at the Devenish Global Innovation and Research farm at Dowth, Co. Meath – a ‘Lighthouse Farm’ – will form the basis for the discussion.

Speakers on the webinar include: Henk Wesrhoek, DG Sante; Prof. Alice Stanton, Devenish and RCSI; Dr. John Gilliland, Devenish; and Dr. Cornelia Grace, Project Heartland.

Commenting, Macra national president Thomas Duffy said: “This is an extremely important discussion for young farmers to be involved in.

“A future for livestock products will rely on our ability to adapt to consumer demand and this is a perfect opportunity for young farmers to have their say.”

The European Green Deal has laid out future ambitions for a more sustainable food and agriculture sector, through its Farm to Fork Strategy.

According to Macra, the objectives raised have put an urgency on the need to facilitate dialogue between decision makers, research bodies and, in particular, young farmers. “In this way, the road that leads to a more sustainable 2050 for people and the planet is well marked, so that nobody is left behind,” the organisation says.

Prof. Alice Stanton, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and director of human health at Devenish, explains:

“We’re very pleased to be part of this key event that brings together the next generation of farmers from across Europe.

“With the world population set to reach 10 billion by 2050, we’re facing an unprecedented challenge in terms of proving enough sustainably-produced, nutritious food to feed everyone.

Discussions such as this, which engage future food and agriculture leaders, are incredibly valuable. It’s only by working collaboratively as an industry that we will overcome these challenges.

The webinar will take place online on Tuesday, November 13, from 9:30am to 1:00pm.