background image
At the end of the nineties and early noughties
Ireland's "Celtic Tiger" economy was roaring with an
endless demand for young people in attractive, high
paying jobs. In contrast farming was seen as old-
fashioned, low income with restrictions or quotas on
most farming sectors.
With falling numbers in agricultural education many
agricultural colleges closed and the Farm Apprenticeship
Board training scheme ceased due to lack of applicants.
Against that background, Macra set out on an ambitious
plan to stem the tide and make farming a more attractive
career for our young people. It used its club, county and
national structure to come up with solutions and then
lobby our politicians, Government departments and other
organisations to have the plan implemented.
In 1999 we succeeded in getting 500 young farmers an
allocation of 10 sucker quota rights and another 10 the
following year. Later, after intensive lobbying, Macra
secured the re-introduction of the Installation Aid Scheme
(in subsequent years the income limits were removed and
money increased). Other concessions included zero stamp
duty on land transfers to young trained farmers as well as
100 per cent stock relief for four years after setting up.
We looked to end the era of `sofa/armchair farming' and
over the following number of years we successively lobbied
for the banning of Land with Milk Quota leasing, which
often saw farmers lease land tens or even hundreds of
miles from their base. This had the e ect of forcing all
unused milk quota to be sold into a Restructuring Scheme
at a set price and from that young farmers received 25 per
cent of all milk allocated. Subsequently, we succeeded in
getting 9 million litres of Agenda 2000 Milk divided among
3100 farmers. In the early 2000s Macra led the push for the
establishment of farm partnerships with the setting up of
Milk Production Partnerships and New Entrant Dairy Farm
Partnerships (which was a major breakthrough in helping
young farmers become established).
Other areas Macra had success in were in securing
improvements in the Early Retirement Scheme and
supporting the introduction of tax relief on land leasing.
Representing young people we lobbied hard for the
introduction of the personal injuries' assessment board
and for investment in Ag Colleges, as well as changes to
the eligibility criteria for third level grants. Macra supported
the establishment of The Women in Agriculture Forum
(today Women in Agriculture Conference). Macra's new
Agriculture and Horticulture Student council led to the
doubling of the minimum agricultural wage for students
on farm placement to 190 per week. Macra and Bord
Glas set up and Macra ran the Seasonal Horticultural
Workers Scheme (SHWS), which allowed 250 Horticultural
Students from Central and Eastern Europe to work on Irish
Horticulture Farms. Moving with technology, we introduced
a Direct Debit membership option. In the competitions
sphere, Macra published two books of One Act plays to be
used by Macra Clubs. Many former members have gone on
to play important roles at National and Community level, as
have many of our former sta members. Former CEO Tom
Curran has been General Secretary of Fine Gael for many
years. Former CEO Damian MacDonald is current General
Secretary of the IFA and former Agriculture Policy O cer
James Kelly is the current Director of Operations of the IFA.
Macra is the only organisation in the country for young
people, run by young people. It has been an outstanding
success over its 75-year history and long may it continue to
grow and prosper.
32
OCTOBER 2019
Macra
1944-2019
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Seamus Phelan
Macra President 2001-2003
New era, new century - T.J. Maher hands over
the chain to incoming President Seamus Phelan
at the
Macra na Feirme AGM.
a Direct Debit membership option. In the competitions
sphere, Macra published two books of One Act plays to be
used by Macra Clubs. Many former members have gone on
to play important roles at National and Community level, as
100 per cent stock relief for four years after setting up.
We looked to end the era of `sofa/armchair farming' and
Horticulture Farms. Moving with technology, we introduced
a Direct Debit membership option. In the competitions
sphere, Macra published two books of One Act plays to be
used by Macra Clubs. Many former members have gone on
(in subsequent years the income limits were removed and
(in subsequent years the income limits were removed and
money increased). Other concessions included zero stamp
duty on land transfers to young trained farmers as well as
100 per cent stock relief for four years after setting up.
Students from Central and Eastern Europe to work on Irish
Horticulture Farms. Moving with technology, we introduced
allocation of 10 sucker quota rights and another 10 the
following year. Later, after intensive lobbying, Macra
secured the re-introduction of the Installation Aid Scheme
(in subsequent years the income limits were removed and
doubling of the minimum agricultural wage for students
on farm placement to
Glas set up and Macra ran the Seasonal Horticultural
Workers Scheme (SHWS), which allowed 250 Horticultural
fashioned, low income with restrictions or quotas on
With falling numbers in agricultural education many
agricultural colleges closed and the Farm Apprenticeship
Board training scheme ceased due to lack of applicants.
Against that background, Macra set out on an ambitious
plan to stem the tide and make farming a more attractive
career for our young people. It used its club, county and
national structure to come up with solutions and then
lobby our politicians, Government departments and other
organisations to have the plan implemented.
In 1999 we succeeded in getting 500 young farmers an
allocation of 10 sucker quota rights and another 10 the
following year. Later, after intensive lobbying, Macra
(in subsequent years the income limits were removed and
money increased). Other concessions included zero stamp
duty on land transfers to young trained farmers as well as
100 per cent stock relief for four years after setting up.
We looked to end the era of `sofa/armchair farming' and
over the following number of years we successively lobbied
Other areas Macra had success in were in securing
improvements in the Early Retirement Scheme and
supporting the introduction of tax relief on land leasing.
Representing young people we lobbied hard for the
introduction of the personal injuries' assessment board
and for investment in Ag Colleges, as well as changes to
the eligibility criteria for third level grants. Macra supported
the establishment of The Women in Agriculture Forum
(today Women in Agriculture Conference). Macra's new
Agriculture and Horticulture Student council led to the
doubling of the minimum agricultural wage for students
190 per week. Macra and Bord
Glas set up and Macra ran the Seasonal Horticultural
Workers Scheme (SHWS), which allowed 250 Horticultural
Students from Central and Eastern Europe to work on Irish
Horticulture Farms. Moving with technology, we introduced
a Direct Debit membership option. In the competitions
sphere, Macra published two books of One Act plays to be
used by Macra Clubs. Many former members have gone on
to play important roles at National and Community level, as
have many of our former sta members. Former CEO Tom
for the banning of Land with Milk Quota leasing, which
often saw farmers lease land tens or even hundreds of
miles from their base. This had the e ect of forcing all
unused milk quota to be sold into a Restructuring Scheme
often saw farmers lease land tens or even hundreds of
miles from their base. This had the e ect of forcing all
unused milk quota to be sold into a Restructuring Scheme
often saw farmers lease land tens or even hundreds of
miles from their base. This had the e ect of forcing all
unused milk quota to be sold into a Restructuring Scheme
often saw farmers lease land tens or even hundreds of
miles from their base. This had the e ect of forcing all
unused milk quota to be sold into a Restructuring Scheme
often saw farmers lease land tens or even hundreds of
miles from their base. This had the e ect of forcing all
unused milk quota to be sold into a Restructuring Scheme
unused milk quota to be sold into a Restructuring Scheme
years. Former CEO Damian MacDonald is current General
Secretary of the IFA and former Agriculture Policy O cer
James Kelly is the current Director of Operations of the IFA.
Curran has been General Secretary of Fine Gael for many
years. Former CEO Damian MacDonald is current General
Secretary of the IFA and former Agriculture Policy O cer
James Kelly is the current Director of Operations of the IFA.
years. Former CEO Damian MacDonald is current General
Secretary of the IFA and former Agriculture Policy O cer
James Kelly is the current Director of Operations of the IFA.
Curran has been General Secretary of Fine Gael for many
years. Former CEO Damian MacDonald is current General
Secretary of the IFA and former Agriculture Policy O cer
James Kelly is the current Director of Operations of the IFA.
years. Former CEO Damian MacDonald is current General
Secretary of the IFA and former Agriculture Policy O cer
James Kelly is the current Director of Operations of the IFA.
years. Former CEO Damian MacDonald is current General
Secretary of the IFA and former Agriculture Policy O cer
James Kelly is the current Director of Operations of the IFA.
years. Former CEO Damian MacDonald is current General
Secretary of the IFA and former Agriculture Policy O cer
James Kelly is the current Director of Operations of the IFA.
UCD School of Agriculture
and Food Science
Tackling Global Challenges:
Research, Innovation and
Impact
1st in Ireland
5th in Europe
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in Agricultural Sciences
(US news and World Report
Subject Rankings 2018)
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