This year’s Macra na Ferme Rally, supported by Massey Ferguson, drew thousands of members over the three-day event held at the Clonmel Park Hotel in Thurles, Tipperary.
Keynote speaker was Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Macra na Feirme represents Ireland’s young farmers and rural youth, and the conference is the biggest weekend in the organisation’s calendar.
The theme of this year's event was Sustainability in a Challenging World. In a wide-ranging interview with RTE television’s Damien O'Reilly, Commissioner Hogan discussed generational renewal and how it will form a key part of CAP 2020.
The Commissioner praised Macra na Feirme and the positive impact it has had on his own life, telling the audience that it taught him to, 'talk up and then shut up.' There were also two discussion panels at the conference which focused on Market Sustainability for Young Farmers in Post Brexit Ireland and Enjoying a Healthy Work/Life Balance in Agriculture.
Speaking after the rally, Sean McAvoy, Massey Ferguson Field Technical Manager said: “The conference was informative and very entertaining. I enjoyed taking part in the discussion about sustainability on the farm and it was heartening to hear so many passionate, positive people talking about work/life balance in agriculture. Massey Ferguson is a proud partner of Macra na Feirme and we were delighted to be a part of the National Conference.”
Hosted this year by South Tipp Macra, the event was an overwhelming success with positive feedback on all aspects of the weekend. On top of that, it is estimated that the rally generated some €250,000 (£218,300) for the local economy.
"The conference was informative and very entertaining. I enjoyed taking part in the discussion about sustainability on the farm and it was heartening to hear so many passionate, positive people talking about work/life balance in agriculture."