Previously vice chair, Mr O’Leary has held numerous senior IFA positions. A supplier to Dairygold Co-op, he farms at Mourneabbey, near Mallow, with wife Fidelma and their three children, Daniel, Orla and Valerie.
“Early in the New Year, I intend to take stock, with the committee, of the current state of the sector in terms of its preparation for the post-2015 era,” said Mr O’Leary.
“My view is that we must influence continued consolidation and collaboration on collecting, processing and marketing milk in the context of our ambition to grow production. We must ensure that expansion is profitable for farmers.
“Those planning to increase production and new entrants must have access to quality business and financial planning advice and skills building.”
He said the implementation on farms of the new Dairy Quality Assurance and Sustainability scheme will be a critical issue next year. Co-ops must demonstrate the benefits of the schemes to farmers; and farmers must be rewarded for participating and submitting themselves to the audits, he added.