Macra members get ready for future career challenges

The theme of Macra na Feirme’s annual conference this coming Saturday will be to motivate young farmers to make the most of their agricultural careers.

The European agriculture and rural development commissioner, Phil Hogan, is due to address the Muskerry Macra-organised gathering at the Riverside Hotel in Macroom, Co Cork.

It is part of the organisation’s national rally, the biggest event of the year on Macra’s calendar, which is being held over the weekend in Rochestown Park Hotel.

Alan Jagoe, president of CEJA, the European Young Farmers’ Organisation, and the Macra president, Sean Finan, will also address the conference which has the title of “Inspiration for this generation; taking the next step”.

A panel of young farmers from various enterprises will discuss the topics of land mobility, the supports and obstacles within the Common Agricultural Policy and the personal skills required by a young farmer to deal with these issues.

Muskerry Macra says that the long-term outlook for the agricultural sector is very positive and it wants to encourage young farmers to take a leading role in the industry.

“The key goal of this conference is that those attending will leave in a positive frame of mind, psyched up and motivated to overcome the challenges facing them in their farming careers,” it says.

It is expected that Mr Hogan will outline the incentives for young farmers included in the new CAP. The conference follows the launch in Brussels last week of a report on the needs of young farmers.

With just 6% of EU farmers under 35, the new CAP puts additional emphasis on encouraging new entrants into the sector.

The report, funded by the European Parliament with the support of the European Commission, is the result of interviews with more than 2,200 young farmers from all 28 EU states.

As well as the main needs, the report looks at the range of exchange programmes for farmers from the EU 28and some selected OECD countries and assesses how they can be improved.

In the new CAP, there is a 25% top-up in the direct payments made to new young farmers under 40.


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