The annual ICMSA AGM took place this morning at the South Court Hotel in Limerick.
Today marked the last ever AGM for outgoing ICMSA President John Comer to be in attendance. The day began bright and early with over 80 resolutions for members to vote on. These included topics such as nitrates, carbon tax, stamp duty, tractor ncts, encouraging young people to enter the industry and encouraging education, to name a few.
Once all resolutions were resolved and agreed upon a lunch was held for all members. Then following the lunch, guests were treated to four speakers, John Comer, John the Bull Hayes, Tara Mc Carthy (Bord Bia) and junior minister, Andrew Doyle.
John Comer kicked off proceedings, first challenging the government and Bord bia on any potential Mercosur trade deal, Brexit and many more issues. John spoke of the work done during his reign as president and also took time to thank all the members for the help and support provided during his six-year term.
Next up was Irish Rugby legend, and Hereford beef farmer, John “the bull” Hayes. John was speaking as a special guest of Zurich insurance and he spoke of the importance of highlighting farm safety and improving farm safety practices, while he also took time to answer questions rugby-orientated.
Following the rugby legend was Bord Bia Chief executive, Tara McCarthy. Tara spoke about developments made at securing vital export markets, to help Ireland deal with Brexit. While she also touched upon progress made for FoodWise 2025, the benefits of the Origin Green programme and the state of Irish agriculture as a whole. She said she feels Ireland are leading the way in sustainable farming and farm practices.
After Tara was Minister Andrew Doyle, stepping in for Minister Creed. Mr. Doyle also spoke of increasing export markets, the importance of live exports, beef markets to Egypt, increased calf exports and much more.
Speeches were followed by a lengthy Q&A, where farmers were given the chance to question Tara and Mr, Doyle on their comments. They were quizzed on a range of topics from, Origin green, excessive farm audits, labour shortages, energy, the Mercosur trade deal, stamp duty, rural crime and the importance of emerging markets.
Don’t forget we were in attendance on the day and were Facebook live-ing all the action. You can check out the questions posed to the speakers, hear John Comer's final speech as well as a one on one interview with Irish Rugby legend, John Hayes.
Overall it was an AGM packed with information and definitely one not to be missed again.