IFA President Joe Healy has announced details of an important IFA Hill sheep farmers’ forum being held on June 20th in Newport Co Mayo.
Joe Healy said “IFA has organised a major forum to discuss all issues relating to hill sheep farmers, together with a farm visit for Monday June 20th commencing at 3pm in Newport Co Mayo”.
Joe Healy said IFA will be launching an action plan for hill areas covering all of the key policy issues imposing on hill farming. “At the forum meeting, which will take place in Nevins, Newfield, Tiernaur, Newport commencing at 5pm there will be a full debate with speakers covering all of the main market and production issues as well as all of the policy issues.”
IFA has invited speakers from Teagasc, Bord Bia, meat factory representatives, Aurivo Co-operative Marts, and the Department of Agriculture to address the forum.
At the farm visit, which commences at 3pm, participants will have the opportunity to view hill sheep farming production methods as well as sheep breeds and progeny. In addition, there will be a demonstration and exhibition by Great Western Sheep dogs.
Inviting hill farmers to attend, Joe Healy said this is an important event for hill sheep farmers in terms of directing and driving the issues that are critically to their sector.
IFA Hill Chairman Pat Dunne said that incomes of hill farmers are the lowest, according to the 2014 Teagasc National Farm Survey. The average farm income in hill areas is €16,338 with direct payments representing 100% or more of the income. He said a concerted campaign across a wide range of areas will be necessary to deal with the low-income crisis and decline in hill farmer numbers. Recent cutbacks to farm schemes and other vital supports have hit hill farmers more than most.
Programme for the Day
Part 1 – Hill Sheep Farm Visit – 3pm
Visit to hill sheep farm in Mulranney Co. Mayo
To view and discuss hill sheep production and management
Exhibition by Great Western Sheep dogs
Assemble at Derrada Community Centre – sign posted from Newport.
Part 2 – IFA Hill Sheep Farmers’ Forum – 5pm
Nevins, Newfield, Tiernaur, Newport, Co. Mayo
Welcome by the Chairman of Mayo County Council, Mr Michael Holmes
IFA President Joe Healy, Introduction and Chairman
Production and Market Situation
• John Noonan/Michael Diskin, Teagasc – Hill Sheep Production
• Declan Fennell, Bord Bia – Light Lamb Markets
• Tom Maguire, Aurivo Marts – Breeding and Store Lamb Sales
• Meat Factory representative – Selling Hill Lamb
• John Lynskey, IFA National Sheep Chairman – New €10/ewe Sheep Scheme
Part 3 – Policy Section – Evening
• Pat Dunne, IFA National Hill Chairman – IFA Plan for Hill Areas
• Al Grogan, Senior Inspector DAFM – Eligible Land
• Kevin Kinsella, IFA Director of Livestock – EU Sheep Reflection Group
• Gerry Gunning, Executive Secretary Rural Development – Farm Schemes
• Joe Brady, IFA National Rural Development Chairman