Macra na Feirme’s strategic planning process is due to begin at the end of January and will set out the key areas of focus, broad areas of activity and priorities for the organisation over the next five to seven years.

It will involve a significant level of consultation and engagement with members, associate members, sponsors, funders and other stakeholders, the organisation said.

Macra has announced the appointment of a consultancy team jointly led by Ciaran Lynch of Community Engagement Partners and Dr.Pat Bogue of Broadmore Research to support the organisation in developing a long term strategic plan.

For members of the organisation, there will be four consultations around the country. All Macra members and patrons are encouraged to attend a consultation close to them. Past members are also welcome to attend.

Macra na Feirme has said it must meet the changing needs of its membership.

macra meetings

Chief Executive Denis Duggan said that as Macra approaches its 75th anniversary of the foundation of the organisation, it is important to reflect on all that Macra na Feirme has achieved since 1944.

It is also important to think about where we are going and how we will maintain relevance as a young farmer and youth organisation in the 21st century.

“Macra na Feirme has always been a strong voice for rural Ireland but I believe with a strategic plan we can be even stronger.

“There are huge pressures on the youth of Ireland today. It is vital that Macra na Feirme continues to be a voice and foundation for their personal development.

“We expect to have our strategic plan completed by May 2017 which will chart a course for organisation over the coming years.”

Macra na Feirme President Sean Finan said that external factors such as Brexit make agriculture an increasingly volatile industry for young farmers to operate in.

“Therefore it is more important than ever for young farmers to have their voice heard nationally and in Europe and it is up to Macra na Feirme to be that strong voice for Irish young farmers and rural youth.”

To that end, I believe this strategic plan will set out a viable roadmap for our organisation in the coming years so that we can continue to work and fight for the needs of our young farmers and rural youth.

“It will also aid us in developing the future leaders of communities and the agriculture industry in Ireland.”

The development of the strategic plan will involve consulting with members from club level up to the National President, staff and other stakeholders.

There are two ways for members to have their say, complete an online survey within the next few weeks and attend one of the four member consultation workshops.

The contents of the strategic plan will emerge from the consultation process and the inputs sought from members, national officers, staff, sponsors, industry representatives, government departments and agencies, as well as other stakeholders.

To book your place at any one of these events, please register to attend online.