At a meeting of the IFA National Rural Development Committee today, Joe Brady from County Cavan was elected Chairman, taking over from Kerryman Flor McCarthy, who had completed his four-year term as Chairman.
Joe Brady farms in Stradone, Co. Cavan and is a suckler and beef farmer. He is a former IFA County Chairman and Regional Chairman and brings a wealth of experience to the role.
The new Chairman thanked Flor McCarthy for the enormous contribution he has made over the last 4 years, and in particular for the work he did in getting vital farm schemes, such as TAMS, GLAS, ANCs, and Knowledge Transfer measures, in place.
Joe Brady pointed out that his key priorities will be achieving further amendments to the Rural Development Programme, the early opening of GLAS to ensure 50,000 farmers are in the scheme from 1st January 2017, and getting the Targeted Output Scheme up and running in 2016.
In relation to the ANC review, he said the priority will be to ensure that the payments under the scheme make a more significant contribution to farm income, through the restoration of losses arising out of cuts in Budget 2008.
He also pointed out that vital income support schemes such as Farm Assist need to be improved, and the number of places on the Rural Social Scheme must be increased.
Securing timely payments across all schemes through the Charter of Rights will also be a major priority for the new Chairman.