The newly elected president of Macra na Feirme, James Healy, has called on Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to put together a package of measures and incentives “specifically for young farmers including further access to low cost credit to help ensure they can continue to grow and expand their agriculture enterprises despite the current volatility and be ready for the post-Brexit era”.
He made the comments as part of his inauguration speech at the Macra AGM in Co Leitrim last weekend.
He also stated his intention to tackle the rise in cyber bullying among young people and focus on the mental health of rural youth during his term in office.
Mr Healy will be asking the Macra rural youth committee to develop a Cyber Bullying Prevention and Social Media Etiquette policy for members.
“We as a member-led, young people’s organisation are perfectly placed to lead a programme where young people can educate each other,” he said.
“I believe there is huge scope for Macra to pilot a programme in this area and I would call on Minister Katherine Zappone and the Department of Children and Youth affairs to work with us in designing this programme so that it can have the greatest effect possible.”
Mr Healy from Kilmartin, Donoughmore, Co Cork, is the 36th president of Macra and the seventh Cork representative to serve in the role.
He succeeds Sean Finan who finished his two-year term on Saturday,
Mr Healy thanked the outgoing president and said: “Sean has worked tirelessly for this organisation, from driving the highways and by-ways of this country to being ever-present at club and county events around the country, to lobbying hard in both Dublin and Brussels on behalf of our young farmers and rural youth and I welcome his continued input on council.”
Delegates from the 31 Macra regions and counties attended the meeting at The Lough Allen Hotel in Drumshanbo.
The AGM was hosted by Leitrim Macra and jointly sponsored by Aurivo and Lakeland Co-op.