Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue will give the opening address at a major conference organised by the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) this week.

‘Navigating the Evolving Agricultural Machinery Landscape’ is the theme of the conference which will take place on Thursday, February 8 at the Heritage Hotel, Killenard, Co. Laois.

It aims to deliver information, advice and insights for members of the national trade body of the Irish farm machinery industry.

The FTMTA has said that the conference will offer a platform to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the industry and provide a knowledge transfer forum on strategic growth planning.

FTMTA conference

This full-day event will open with an address by Minister McConalogue, T.D. and will be moderated by journalist and broadcaster, Sean O’Rourke.

Discussion topics on the day will include:

  • Navigating the industry’s financial landscape;
  • Understanding and influencing buyers;
  • Social media marketing.

The event’s speakers will include president of the FTMTA and regional sales manager Claas UK, Karol Duigenan; CEO, IFAC, John Donoghue; director, VFM Associates, Ian Fairbairn; managing director, Matrix Internet, Jeff Sheridan; and Emma Mitchell, operations director and company secretary, SIMI.

The keynote address will be delivered by Paul McNeive, a columnist, chartered surveyor and former managing director of Hamilton Osborne King.

Executive director of the FTMTA, Michael Farrelly believes the conference is a timely and welcome platform to discuss the issues and opportunities facing the Irish farm machinery industry.

He said: “After a hiatus of several years, the return to a members’ conference is a welcome development. These gatherings aim to ignite discussions and cultivate ideas among participants from the industry.

“Carving out a day from the demands of your business is not always easy but I believe it is important to do it and it offers attendees the chance to take a step back and realign with your professional peers.

“Moreover, it serves as a great networking opportunity to forge connections within the industry, engage in conversations about shared challenges and exchange innovative ideas.”

The FTMTA is the national trade body of the Irish farm machinery industry.

Established over 100 years ago, it currently has over 200 members, including manufacturers, importers/distributors and retail dealers.

The association is managed by a voluntary executive council all of whom are a part of the industry and experts in their fields.