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12
OCTOBER 2019
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Feature
OCTOBER 2019
Feature
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Macra na Feirme is celebrating its 75th birthday during
2019. Anyone or any organisation's 75th is a definitely
a time for reflection on past glories and achievements.
Without doubt in Macra na Feirme, there have been
remarkable achievements by members, Presidents, and
staff over the 75-year history. From a short review of the
recently published `Macra na Feirme 1944-2019 A History
in Pictures', achievements and innovations throughout
the eight decades are readily evident, from the pioneering
vocational education approach promoted by Macra's
Founder Stephen Cullinan to farmer discussion groups;
international exchanges and scholarships to agri start-
ups. In looking back, it is a testament to the visionary
leadership of the many young men and women that
have went before the current generation, that Macra na
Feirme responses to young farmer needs (and not so
young too) became household names. These include the
establishment in 1949 of the Young Farmers Journal and
the establishment of the National Farmers Association,
both of which survive to this day albeit with different
titles! Those same leadership qualities were evident in
the late seventies and early eighties with the creation and
incubation of the Farm Relief Services, FRS Network by
Macra leaders, including Peter Byrne.
The visionary leadership espoused by Stephen Cullinan
and the 11 other rural science teachers in September 1944
as they set about the first meeting to establish a young
farmer organisation in Newman House, St. Stephen's
Green, was very evident again during the past five years
through the creation of the Land Mobility Service and
Macra Agricultural Skillnet. The Land Mobility Service
matches young and old farmers with a view to them
forming collaborative farming agreements, while Macra
Agricultural Skillnet focuses on delivering training and
upskilling to young farmers and others within the agri-
business community.
The Land Mobility Service and its ethos go right back
to the founding of the organisation. Reading text
from documents from the 1940s, `50s, `60s through to
speeches from Seumas O'Brien's tenure in the late `70s
and early 1980s, not just as Macra President but while
CEJA President, it is obvious that generational renewal
Macra has the ambition
and drive for the future
Denis Duggan, Chief Executive of Macra na Feirme, looks to the
future of the organisation on its 75
th
anniversary.