Macra: Presidential race 2017 getting into full swing

With just one hustings remaining, and ballot papers issued to clubs across the country, the race for 36th presidency of Macra na Feirme is well under way.
Macra: Presidential race 2017 getting into full swing

Members will elect a national president for the 2017 to 2019 term in the Irish Farm Centre in Dublin on Tuesday, April 4, as well as vice presidents in the Munster, North West, and Eastern regions.

This year, it is a two-horse race for the presidency, with Odile Evans, of Johnstown/Coolgreany Macra on the Wicklow/Wexford border and James Healy from Donoughmore Macra, Co Cork, each setting out their vision to members at a series of assemblies in Cork, Limerick, Kilkenny, Leitrim, and Mayo.

There will be one more opportunity for members to meet the candidates tomorrow night at the final hustings in Newgrange Hotel, Navan, Co Meath at 8pm.

In the run-up to the election, clubs will host special meetings to decide on which candidates the branch will vote for and conduct a secret ballot.

The Munster vice presidential candidate is Tom O’Donoghue of Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, while the Leinster vice presidential candidate is Cara O’Mahony from Naas, Co Kildare.

There are two North West vice presidential candidates; Sharon Corcoran of Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, and Brendan Curran from Mohill, Co Leitrim.

Odile Evans: Seeking a voice for young farmers in Brexit talks.
Odile Evans: Seeking a voice for young farmers in Brexit talks.

Odile’s campaign policies include:

To represent and support all members in all counties

Promote and enhance Macra’s image in the public eye

Ensure the retention and active participation of all young farmers in Macra

Ensure there is a voice for young farmers with the Government and other farm lobbies during the important Brexit and CAP negotiations

Emphasise farm safety as a critical issue.

Odile also proposes training for rural youth officers in each county/region to ensure counties have an active programme of events (ie mental health training, sexuality, etc).

Promote and develop Macra travel opportunities

Increase participation in competitions through workshops and YouTube demonstrations

James’s policies include:

To grow the overall membership and to increase levels of engagement in all key programme areas at all levels of the organisation

Capitalise on the feedback that has been gathered following the extensive consultation with members and push for a CAP that will give particularly young progressive farmers the confidence to keep developing their business.

Ensure Macra is a leader in the area of farm safety, by creating awareness and providing preventative training through Skillnet and Young Farmer Development Groups.

Work closely with the Ag Affairs Committee to highlight issues and lobby on behalf of Young Farmers both at nationally and at European Union level

Strive to increase participation levels in all competitions and sports by facilitating workshops, demonstrations and encouraging regional novice rounds.

The elected candidates will take up office at the Macra AGM on May 6.

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