‘We need to get trained young professional people involved in farming’

Ireland needs to get trained professional young people involved in farming, according to the Minister of State for Food, Forestry, and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle.

Speaking earlier today at the Tullamore Show, the Minister said that farming needs to be an attractive lifestyle for those coming into the sector.

“In a year like this when there’s been challenges across the commodity sectors, we need to remember that without a vibrant primary production sector, the rest of the chain falls down.”

Speaking about the challenges for farmers, the Minister said that urged farmers to avail of the services that banks can provide.

“When I hear banks say ‘come and talk to us’, I think that should be availed of [by farmers]. It’s important that the door is opened [for them].”

He also said that farm organisations, politicians, the Department of Agriculture and Teagasc all have their role to play in helping farmers through the challenges in the sector.

The Minister also spoke about the importance of farm safety at today’s Tullamore Show, where he visited the farm safety arena which was hosted by the Health and Safety Authority, FBD and FRS.

There used to be a time when your cousins from the city came and played in the hay on the farm, he said but that we have to remember that the farm is also a work place.

On the Tullamore Show itself, the Minister said that it is an opportunity to see some of the finest livestock anywhere in the world.

“These quality livestock are a visual representation of our food production sector, one of our most important indigenous sectors.

“This Show is the culmination of a great deal of voluntary work which represents the best of the co-operative spirit that is so innate to rural Ireland,” he said.