Macra recently announced their choice for the new president. James Healy received the honour of becoming it's 36th leader and wasted no time in getting to work. The newly elected president of Macra na Feirme called on the Minister for agriculture Michael Creed to put, 'together a package of measures and incentives specifically for young farmers including further access to low cost credit to help ensure they can continue to grow and expand their agriculture enterprises despite the current volatility and be ready for the post-Brexit era.'
The new president, the seventh Cork representative to serve as president, succeeds Sean Finan in his new role. Sean leaves the role after the completion of his two year term.
Upon his inauguration Mr Healy took time to thank the outgoing Finan and wish him well for the future, "Sean has worked tirelessly for this organisation, from driving the highways and by-ways of this country to being ever-present at club and county events around the country, to lobbying hard in both Dublin and Brussels on behalf of our young farmers and rural youth and I welcome his continued input on council.'
These comments, made earlyÂ into his inauguration speech, with Healy showing early he will hold no punches.Â
Mr Healy also quite suprisingly stated his intention to tackle the rise in cyber bullying among younger generations. He also saidÂ Â he wouldÂ focus on the mental health of rural youth during his term in office.
WIth regards these plans Macra will be asking it's younger contingent (youth committee) to help develop a Social MediaÂ and cyber bullying preventionÂ etiquette for its members. Mr Healy stated 'We as a member-led, young people's organisation are perfectly placed to lead a programme where young people can educate each other.Â Â I believe there is huge scope for Macra to pilot a program in this area and I would call on Minister Katherine Zappone and the Department of Children and Youth affairs to work with us in designing this program so that it can have the greatest effect possible.'
Healy also added that "We need to make sure our young farmers are enticed into a vibrant industry where they are supported and won't be washed out with the first crisis".
Should he be successful or even if not, it already seems the new presidency is going to be a positive thing for the organisation and Macra's young farming members. Healy took a brave step highlighting these taboo issues so early into his reign.
Should he receive the support of other macra members countrywide, we could see these plans being implimented to great success.
Joining James in office and completing the new line up as Vice Presidents are Sharon Corcoran as North West Vice President, Cara O'Mahony as Leinster Vice President and Tom O'Donoghue as new Munster Vice President.