Macra news: Welcome for quota end ahead of election

The Macra presidential and vice presidential elections will take place in the Irish Farm Centre in Dublin on Tuesday.
Macra news: Welcome for quota end ahead of election

Each Macra club has one vote and the proportional representation system will be used. Ballots will be opened in front of the returning officer, the independent scrutineer, and also those attending the count, which is open to the public and is expected to get under way at about 2.30pm.

Updates will also be posted throughout the count on the Macra Twitter account — #macraelection.

The presidential candidates are Eamon Cassells, Athboy, Co Meath; Paddy Delaney, Timahoe, Portlaoise; Seán Finan, Castlerea, Rosommon; and Michelle O’Callaghan, Knockraha, Co Cork.

The Leinster vice president candidates are Noel Duffy, Ferbane, Co Offaly; Odile Evans, Arklow, Co Wicklow; and Aoife Lanigan, Kilkenny.

The sole Munster vice president candidate is Gerard Griffin, Fermoy, Co Cork. The North West candidates are Ray Gilmartin, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim; and Caroline O’Dowd, Ballymote, Co Sligo.

The elected candidates will take up office at the Macra AGM on May 9.

Meanwhile, the outgoing president, Kieran O’Dowd, has welcomed the end of milk quotas.

However, he said more support is needed for young farmers to help them build careers and take advantage of the opportunities quota abolition provides.

“So many young farmers didn’t have the opportunity to get involved or build a career in the industry during the quota regime. Dairy farming offers a very bright career opportunity for well-skilled young farmers, however it offers a bleaker future for poorly-trained, below-average farmers of which there are many,” he said.

“The training and advisory services for young, dairy farmers are more critical now than ever.

“However, there was consensus at Monday’s Macra Agricultural Affairs committee meeting that the Teagasc advisory and education services are crumbling as a result of insufficient resources where they are specifically needed. Teagasc are fighting a rear- guard action, papering over the cracks while the quality of education tumbles.”

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