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PAC International Conference

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The PAC Ireland International Conference will take place on February 2, 2018, in the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny.

The theme of the conference is ‘Smart Farming – Agricultural Contractors and Farmers Working Together’. Keynote speaker will be Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Smart technology is the future. The EU farming strategy, ‘Europe 2020’, calls for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and sets the strengthening of research and innovation as one of its five main objectives.
With an impressive line-up of speakers, the Professional Agricultural Contractors of Ireland (PAC) has organised a conference to bridge the gap between the theory of smart farming and its practical and financially rewarding practice on Irish farms. Irish farmers and agricultural contractors need more direction as to what is possible, affordable and will deliver a return on investment. This conference, on February 2, is certain to deliver many of the answers.

PAC chairman, Michael Sheehan, describes the conference: “It is about being informed on how farmers, agricultural contractors and the machinery trade can work together, employing smart technologies to their fullest potential to produce more for less, in an accessible and straightforward forum.” The lead sponsor of the PAC conference is FBD, with Carbery Plastics Ltd and Tama UAT Ireland also providing sponsorship support. While FBD is the main Irish farm insurer, Carbery Plastics is well known for providing liquid and chemical storage facilities for the agricultural community, while Tama Ireland was set up in 2006 and has brought together leading manufacturers of twine, netwrap and stretchwrap, including the Tamanet+ and Tama Twine range of products.

Conference delegates will hear from machinery companies, Rauch and Pöttinger, which will present the latest smart machinery solutions. Farmer and contractor Kevin Nolan from Carlow and Jacob van den Borne from Netherlands will discuss how smart farming has revolutionised their businesses and how to recognise the real added value of smart technology. The successful implementation of digital farming depends upon access to reliable high-speed broadband. Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, will outline the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP), while Dr Francis Mullany, 5G research strategist with Nokia, will cover the evolution and revolution in wireless technology, enabling smart agriculture. The presidents of the Irish Farmers’ Association and Macra na Feirme, Joe Healy and James Healy, respectively, will also talk at the conference.

Richard Markwell, president of CEMA (the machinery trade representative body in Europe), and a former director of Massey Ferguson and AGCO, will give a global perspective on developments in farm machinery and Graham McHugh, president, FTMTA, will also provide a briefing on the Irish machinery trade.

This event will be of huge interest and benefit to agricultural contractors, farmers, farm advisers, machinery trade and, indeed, anyone with an interest in the future of Irish agriculture. PAC Ireland is hugely grateful to FBD Insurance for supporting agricultural contractors and coming on board as lead sponsor. FBD Insurance has been tailoring insurance packages to the individual needs of farmers and contractors for over 50 years.

The company is delighted to have the opportunity to highlight and discuss safety issues at this conference, where its risk manager, Ciaran Roche, will be giving a presentation. It will also have staff available to discuss any individual requirements or queries which members may have.

To book: visit the PAC Ireland website or contact PAC Ireland. Tickets are €25 and include refreshments, two-course lunch and parking.

Tags: EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan Smart Farming programme Michael Sheehan PAC