Beef and tillage farmer from Fenor, Co. Waterford; Edmond Phelan has stepped forward to run for the position of President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) in the wake of Patrick Kent’s resignation.
The store-to-beef farmer has been a long-time member of the organisation, acting as Beef Chairman for six years from 2012.
With encouragement from the committee members, and support from his wife and family, Edmond decided to put his name forward.
When speaking about the €100 million Brexit support package, Edmond told That’s Farming “It’s great to get it,” but he was quick to add: “I hate the word compensation, I mean, we should be getting a viable income from the marketplace.”
An aim of his role as president would be to seek a fairer system for beef farmers; however, the solution won’t be an easy one.
“The simple answer is the processor shouldn’t be allowed to finish cattle. How we arrive at that, I don’t know, but I don’t think that the political will is there to stop It,” he said.
The Waterford man also mentions that if he gets elected, he would put a bit more emphasis on renewable energy.
“There should be an anaerobic digester in nearly every parish as an alternative outlet for silage and grass,” said the candidate - who would gladly put his grass in a digester if he was getting better money than from beef processing.
“The politicians are more willing to pay fines for carbon emissions than putting money into this and having renewable energy,” he added.
There is one other major sticking point with the south-east farmer and that is the number of sheep being imported into Ireland, “It makes my blood boil” he said, “what I do have a major problem with, is that our animals cannot go out in the same way," Edmond concluded.
Closing date for the nominations is Friday (May 24th) and the election date is set for Thursday, June 27th.
Image source: ICSA \ Website