New IFA Chair

Laois IFA changed the guard at its agm last week.

Laois IFA changed the guard at its agm last week.

The new Chairman is Borris-in-Ossory’s Pat Hennessy, who recently stepped down as National Forestry Chairman.

Taking up the chair, Mr Hennessy said the greatest challenge for farmers was to maintain what they had.

“In Laois we have the higest payment per hectare under the Single Farm Payment system,” he noted.

“I am honoured to be following in the tradition we have here of county chairmen.”

Outgoing Chairman Peter Luttrell implored farmers to farm safely this year.

“If you remember nothing else I said over the years, remember that,” he emphasised.

Mr Luttrell also outlined the highlights of his term of office.

“They were four contrasting years, from the extremes of bad weather and poor prices to the situation today.”

He stressed the importance of maintaining farm schemes, and noted that the abolition of quotas would pose a challenge for the dairy sector. Highlights included the securing of funding for the sheep sector in 2010 by Henry Burns, the budget campaigns, and the WTO negotiations.He paid tribute to his colleagues, Farmcentre and to former national president Padraig Walsh and general secretary Michael Berkery.

The new Laois IFA committee are: President Jim Holland; Chairman Pat Hennessy; Vice-Chairman Francis Gorman; Treasurer Pat McLoughin; Secretary Trevor Stanley; Assistant Secretary Michael Knowles; PRO Eoin Carroll; Livestock Chairman Peter Luttrell and Farm Family Committee Noreen Cahill.