New Presidents Elected to ICSA and IFA

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has a new president. Patrick Kent takes over from Gabriel Gilmartin after a closely contested election on Thursday (05/12/2013).

Mr. Kent is a cattle and sheep farmer from New Ross in Wexford. He said he was honoured to have been elected and would use his presidency to further empower the organisation. He said he intended to represent members as strongly as possible.

“I’m very proud to represent a sector of farming that is producing food of a quality that is unsurpassable, wholesome, nutritious food unlike the empty, caloried junkfood that’s taking up so much space on retailers’ shelves,” said Mr Kent. “Cheap, processed food has a high health cost and we must ensure that the benefits of our quality beef and lamb are promoted here at home and abroad.”

Mr Kent said tackling the issue of low farming incomes and the sustainability of small family farms was among his main priorities.

“It will also be vital that we push hard for 50/50 co-funding for the Rural Development Programme under Pillar 2,” he said. “Many farmers absolutely depend on these schemes for a vital part of their incomes and the programme must be funded to the fullest extent.”

The challenges facing the suckler industry are also a concern for the Wexford man. 
“The high cost of producing a weanling is leaving a very small margin for suckler farmers.  We need to see a dramatic increase in the prices gained for quality weanlings and a corresponding fall in the cost of inputs.  Otherwise, the targets set out under Food Harvest 2020 will have to be seriously revised.  The current issues surrounding the price of bull beef also need to be tackled.”

Mr Kent will officially take up the reins at the ICSA AGM and Annual Conference in the new year.

(Source – Donegal Now – 13/12/2013)


The Irish Farmers Association has a new president. Eddie Downey takes over from John Bryan after a closely contested election on Tuesday (17/12/2013).

The new president of the Irish Farmers Association, who was elected on Tuesday (17/12/2013) urged immediate government action for the agricultural sector, on taking up his post.

Eddie Downey has served as IFA deputy president since 2010. He will take over from president John Bryan on January 14th 2014.

After he was declared the winner of the election, Mr. Downey called on the government to deliver on it’s commitment to provide a strong Rural Development Programme for 2014-2020.

The native of Slane, Co. Meath, said: “There has to be government delivery on 50:50 co-funding for the next RDP in order to secure the future of thousands of farm families around the country, especially those in vulnerable sectors and regions”.

(Source – Daily Mail – Wednesday, 18/12/2013)

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