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Farm organisations choose new blood
The raft of elections and selections among the farm
organisations before Christmas went off reasonably quietly.
One Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) candidate running
for regional chairman, James Speares, did manage to put
his foot (literally) in it when a poorly chosen joke went
down badly. Suggesting that women's smaller feet are more
suited to standing beside the cooker was never going to be
well received, especially in an age of political correctness.
Whether that foot-in-mouth remark impacted the election
result is unknowable, but in any case Speares' opponent
Nigel Reneghan won the election for the IFA's Ulster/
north Leinster regional chairmanship. Meanwhile, the Irish
Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) chose well
in its new leaders. The incoming president, Pat McCormack,
has tonnes of experience, is well regarded both inside
and outside of ICMSA and, with his new deputy, Lorcan
McCabe, will have to hit the ground running in 2018. We
wish them well.
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA)
also had a major election, this one with accusations of vote
stuffing. Signing up the relations in advance of a heave is
a well-worn strategy, apparently, and perfectly legal and
acceptable, according to ICSA general secretary, Eddie
Punch. Patrick Kent, the current ICSA president, saw off the
challenge from Seamus Sherlock by just three votes, to gain
his third two-year term as head of the ICSA. Great to see
such enthusiasm to lead an organisation of questionable
relevance, given its membership size and influence
compared to IFA and ICMSA. Too many representative
organisations for too few farmers?
Lane to hit the road
The chief executive of Ornua, Kevin Lane, has announced his departure
date from the national dairy marketing organisation. With effect from
June 2018, the 2bn-turnover Ornua will have a new leader. Kevin has
put his mark on the Irish dairy industry during his tenure. With Kerrygold
products now firmly established on the US market, Kevin and his board's
decision to piggyback a range of new and innovative dairy products on
the Kerrygold label is clearly paying dividends. High-value Irish yogurts,
cheeses and Kerrygold Cream Liqueur are meeting with strong consumer
acceptance, with the original Kerrygold butter brand growing sales year
on year. Kerrygold-branded dairy products now amount to almost 1bn in
sales. Centralising many of Ornua's processing operations on the Kerrygold
Park campus at Mitchelstown was met with some resistance but is now
being seen as the correct decision as Ornua takes greater control of product
processing and routes to market. In his eight years as head of Ornua, Kevin
has met all expectations with the organisation fully committed and geared
up to marketing a growing share of Ireland's expanding dairy output.
Agri guild visits
new distillery
Members of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists were given
a tour of the Pearse Lyons Distillery in Dublin last month. It is
housed in St James Church, James's Street, which traces its
origins back to
. Over the next few years, it is hoped the
distillery will attract up to , visitors annually.
Ornua chief executive,
Kevin Lane.
Scour problems?
Vaccinate cows now
to protect calves against
Rotavirus Coronavirus E.coli K99
In 2013, Department of Agriculture (AIM) figures reveal that
60,369 calves died up to 6 weeks of age.
Diarrhoea is the most common cause of mortality
in calves up to 4 weeks of age
Vaccination of cows at the correct time prior to calving
reduces the damage caused by Rotavirus,
Coronavirus and E.coli.
1. Anon 2013. AFBI/DAFM All-Island Animal Disease Surveillance Report 2013
Use Medicines Responsibly
Further information is available from your prescriber or from
MSD Animal Health, Red Oak North, South County Business Park,
Leopardstown, Dublin 18, Ireland.
E-mail: Website:
Tel: +353(0)1 2970220.
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