This week, the IFA revealed the names of their new National Committee Chairmen.
Sean Dennehy from Co Cork is the newly elected IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman and replaces John Lynskey from Co Mayo.
Sean Dennehy set out his key priorities including to ensure that the sheep sector is fully protected in the Brexit negotiations; Increasing sheep farm incomes and securing a better deal and improved targeted direct payments for sheep farmers in CAP and Strong viable lamb prices that give sheep farmers a profitable return well over the costs of production.
Mr. Dennehy strongly commended the work of the outgoing National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey, who he said had delivered €80m over 4 years to sheep farmers through the IFA’s successful campaign in securing the new €10 per ewe sheep welfare scheme.
Laois dairy and beef farmer Tom Phelan was elected Chairman of the IFA National Dairy Committee, succeeding Sean O’Leary at the end of his term.
Tom Phelan farms with his wife Caroline and children Martin, Karen and Marie-Thérèse in Pike of Rushall, near Mountrath in Co. Laois, and supplies creamery milk to Glanbia.
Outlining his key priorities, Tom Phelan said, “I am conscious that I am starting my term as Chair of the National Dairy Committee after a strong year for dairy trade and milk prices, and with more challenging market conditions ahead”.
He outlined some of his priorities including optimising milk prices, developing more income risk management tools, defending the farm family model and delivering sustainable returns for farmers, rather than be purely supply driven.
Flor McCarthy,a hill-sheep farmer from Kenmare is the new IFA National Hill Committee Chairman. He also has suckler herd and farms with his wife Mary and four children.
Commenting on his election, Flor McCarthy said that he will represent the 30,000 hill farmers highlighting their concerns and tackling low farm incomes, which are prevalent on farms with mountain type land.
Flor McCarthy has set out a number of key priorities including playing a crucial role in the formulation of national policy to deliver significant support to hill farmers; The 2016 Heritage Bill to allow burning of gorse in the month of March is passed by the Oireachtas and working closely with the National Sheep Committee to deliver a better return for light lamb.
Animal Health Committee
Co. Kildare suckler farm Pat Farrell was elected as the Chairman of the IFA’s National Animal Health Committee.
Mr. Farrell set out some of his priorities including the re-establishment of the Re-establish the independence of the TB Live Valuation Scheme and to ensure that guideline prices accurately reflect the market value animals and to ensure the objective of BVD eradication by 2020 is achieved and ensure on-farm testing is discontinued at the earliest opportunity.
The new chair also said he will focus on identifying and implementing a sustainable and credible national Johne’s control programme that meets the objectives of farmers and co-ops.