Leading global and Irish agri-sector figures for ASA annual conference

A global meat industry leader from Cork is among the key speakers at the annual conference of the Agricultural Science Association (ASA) in Killashee House Hotel, Naas, on Friday, September 12.
Leading global and Irish agri-sector figures for ASA annual conference

Jerry O’Callaghan is director of investor relations with Sao Paulo-based JBS, the world’s largest meat company with annual sales of €33bn and a workforce of 185,000.

He graduated as an engineer from UCC, moved to Brazil in 1979 and began his career in the Brazilian beef industry. He joined JBS in 1996 to develop its international business.

A highly respected executive, he has vast knowledge of global beef and the barriers to trade, has lived in India, the United States, Paraguay and Britain and also owns and runs a cattle ranch in central Brazil.

He will be joined at the ASA conference by Dawn Meats chief executive Niall Browne to debate local and global challenges facing the beef industry.

The ASA is the professional body for graduates in agricultural, horticultural, forestry, and environmental and food science. It has almost 1,400 members from the agri-food sector.

It holds a national conference, which addresses key issues facing the industry in Ireland and internationally.

“Keeping Pace with Global Food” is the theme for this year’s event.

Siobhán Talbot, managing director, Glanbia, and Dr Juergen Voegele, agriculture director with the World Bank in Washington, will be among the high-powered speakers from Brazil, Washington, the Middle East, Britain and Ireland.

Thomas Trimble is travelling from Riyadh and will outline the success story of Almarai, the world’s largest integrated dairy business which produces over 1bn litres of milk from 75,000 cows in the Saudi Arabian desert.

Professor Mark Ferguson, chief executive, Science Foundation Ireland and chief scientific adviser to the Government, will lead a debate on innovation in the agri-food sector.

This will involve contributions from Larry Murrin, chief executive, Dawn Farm Foods, Dr Frank O’Mara, Teagasc director of research and Dr Julian Little from Bayer CropScience in Britain.

The conference will also examine the challenges facing Teagasc in providing advisory services to farmers involved in the new GLAS environmental programme

Dr Jim Kinsella, UCD, Dr Tom Kelly, Teagasc, IFA president Eddie Downey and agricultural consultant Breián Carroll will be on the panel of speakers.

ASA president Seán Farrell said the support of FBD, the conference partners for the 14th consecutive year, and that of other sponsors, reflects the status the event has acquired.

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