Teagasc scientist to become president of EU Animal Task Force

Professor Frank O’Mara, director of research at Teagasc, has been confirmed as the incoming president of the EU Animal Task Force (ATF), a role he will take up in November.

The ATF is a European public-private partnership concerned with the role of sustainable and competitive livestock production within the food system. It links industry and research providers with the aim of “promoting innovation in the livestock sector”.

Commenting on his appointment, Prof, O’Mara said: “I am looking forward to taking up this important role and I would like to thank the members of the EU Animal Task Force for placing their confidence in me.

We are at a very important juncture for agriculture in the EU with the recent publication of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies of the Green Deal.

“I am convinced that livestock production has a critical role in a fully functioning food system by exploiting the principle of ‘circularity’ through minimising waste; delivering highly nutritious, safe and tasty food; and providing livelihoods for livestock farmers and others in the food chain,” he stated.

Reacting to the announcement, Teagasc director Professor Gerry Boyle commented: “Frank’s appointment to this important role is a hugely deserved personal recognition for him and reflects Ireland’s position as a significant producer and exporter of high quality milk and meat products.”

Prof. Frank O’Mara

Prof. Boyle also argued that the appointment was important for Teagasc’s “standing” among European agri-research bodies.

“As we grapple with important international issues like climate change and biodiversity, and the relationship between diet and health, it is increasingly important that Teagasc is well connected internationally,” the Teagasc director concluded.