Macra na Feirme’s annual farming conference, hosted by Carlow Macra an Feirme in conjunction with main sponsors Dawn Meats and Ulster Bank, is being held in the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow, this  Saturday with the theme ‘New CAP New Era’.

Setting the stage for what is promised to be an energetic and thought provoking conference, Eric Driver, organising committee chairman, said: “We are currently in unknown territory with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) programme and it is imperative that the young farmers of today and tomorrow make their voice heard and insure the CAP is directed to the active farmer.”

Speakers at the conference are Mairead McGuinness, MEP; Michael Brady, president of the Agricultural Consultants Association; and Alan Renwick, University College Dublin.

Sarah Long, group agriculture manager at Dawn Meats said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Macra National Agricultural Conference in Carlow and hope the opportunities during the weekend to visit the farms, attend the national conference and discuss key issues will make this the best Macra weekend yet.”

The annual agricultural conference takes place each year as part of Macra’s annual conference. Thousands of rural young people and young farmers are set to attend the conference in Carlow. As well as the annual agricultural conference, the event is host to a number of All-Ireland finals of Macra competitions including the Irish Farmers Journal Know Your Ag quiz; the AIB Club of the Year and Best New Member competitions; and the Bord Bia Beef and Sheep stock-judging competition.

The conference will be officially opened on Friday, the 25 October by Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

Dr Ailish Byrne, senior agricultural manager with Ulster Bank said: “Ulster Bank would like to congratulate Macra na Feirme and thank the host farmers for providing this opportunity to young farmers across Ireland.  We hope that they will use these visits to the farms of business minded young farmers who are driving the agricultural industry in Ireland, across a range of farm sectors to their advantage. Those lucky enough to visit with the host farmers should endeavour to implement one new practice on their home farm that they witnessed while visiting with the host farmer.”

AgriLand will be reporting live from Carlow.