An exciting weekend lies ahead as Meath is set to play host to the Macra na Feirme Rally for the first time ever.
The ‘Make it Meath Royal Rally 2017’ will see over 2,000 members gather in Gormanston at the CityNorth Hotel and Conference Centre from October 27th- 30th 2017.
Also known as the Macra Annual Conference, many consider this gathering the pinnacle in the Macra calendar.
The weekend is set to kick-off with traditional proceedings including the Macra na Feirme/ Irish Farmers Journal Know Your Ag 2017 Quiz National Final.
A fancy dress themed ‘hereos and villains’ party is set to entertain attendees.
On Saturday, a visit to Country Crest and Kepak farms are planned as part of the beef farm walk.
Michael Hoey, Country Crest finishes a large volume of heifers annually for his ready-made meals business, Ballymaguire Food.
In recent years, a beef herd has been introduced to the farm sitting on 3,000 acres, with all feed for the herd grown on the farm.
Store cattle are sourced between 350-550kg and then are finished through to 650kg.
Continental heifers, with a number of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus and Hereford sucklers dominate the pastures.
The attendees will then take a trek to the Kepak feedlot.
Dairy enthusiasts are set to tour Joe Leonard’s and David Moore’s farm based in Co. Meath.
Moore’s farm focuses on EBI and grassland management while maintaining production.
They are milking 150 cows in liquid milk.
In 2016, the Fowlerstown Herd supplied the most kg’s of milk solids per cow out of any producer in the Glanbia production pool.
Joe Leonard is milking 500 cows in a partnership with Darragh McCullough.
Joe is a 2014 Nuffield scholar and his study was based on Stress Management in Farming in Ireland.
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There is also set to be a food safari across the Boyne Valley including Michael Finnegan’s goat farm and the newly opened Slane Distillery.
On Saturday afternoon, the Macra na Feirme Annual Conference 2017 ‘iFarming-Farming in the Infomration Age’ will be hosted.
The focus will be on the future of farming and the image of farming in the age of social media.
Speakers include representatives from Alltech, Massey Ferguson, Country Crest, Teagasc, IFAC, Newstalk and Europa Bio.
The Macra na Feirme Club of the Year and Best New Member will be crowned on Saturday night.
A Macra na Feirme Patron’s Night will also take place and it is aimed at drawing former members to reconnect with members they may have lost touch with.
As is tradition the Macra na Feirme/Ornua Beef and Sheep Stockjudging All Ireland Finals will take place on Sunday.
Meath Rally Chairperson Dermot Connolly said, ‘This weekend would not be possible without our main sponsor Meath County Council and associate sponsors Keenan and Alltech. I would also like to extend my thanks to the many businesses who have sponsored and contributed to the event in whatever way they could. Their support is a true testament to the quality of the event we have planned.’
Speaking about the upcoming Rally, Macra na Feirme National President James Healy said, ‘It is a great honour for any Macra region to host the Rally and I would like to congratulate and thank Meath Macra for their hard work and dedication in planning what is shaping up to be a magnificent weekend. From a social and informative point of view, I would encourage everyone to come along to Gormanston and Make It Meath for the Royal Rally 2017.’
For more information, see here.