Macra na Feirme has launched its new Strategic Plan for 2017-2023: Rurally Active, Engaging & Transforming.
It sets out a vision for the organisation that will support it to adapt to the changing face of rural Ireland and enable it to continue to can serve the needs of Ireland’s rural youth.
Speaking at the launch, Macra na Feirme national president, James Healy, said: "Ireland and the challenges facing our young people are continually changing, but this plan shows that our members are keen to adapt and to meet them head on. As we approach Macra na Feirme's 75th anniversary, this strategic plan is a vital step towards ensuring that our organisation continues to be an important voice of all young farmers and rural youth.’’
To deliver the new plan, Macra embarked upon a series of consultation workshops in 2017 with members led by strategic planning consultants, Ciaran Lynch from Community Engagement Partners and Pat Bogue from Broadmore Research. There was also broad consultation with a significant amount of past and present members, staff, sponsors, funding departments, and other external stakeholders. Macra na Feirme chief executive Denis Duggan thanked everyone for their contribution to the publication.
“This plan is the start of an exciting journey for Macra na Feirme, with the ultimate ambition of significantly growing our rurally active membership and continuing Macra na Feirme's rich legacy of community engagement and transforming the lives of young people involved in the organisation,” said Mr Duggan.
The Strategic Plan sets out 11 goals for the organsiation. Among these is a plan to increase membership and to upskill more of these members to have deeper engagements with various community participation fora. Macra will do this through its own community involvement programme and through skilling members to participate through other opportunities such as Public Participation Networks. There will also be a greater focus on engagement and outreach. The organization said it recognised the financial constraints within which it operates, and part of that outreach and broader engagement is to secure new and diverse funding sources to support Macra na Feirme’s mission.
Youth work programmes within Macra na Feirme will continue to have capacity building and personal development at the core during the life of this plan. Macra noted that governance, regulatory compliance, and legal structures are impacting the organization and the strategic plan charts a course for implementation of the Governance Code for non-profit organisations, along with many other strategic goals, objectives and actions, which it expects will have a positive and transformative effect on the structure of the organisation.