'Farmers across Europe are all battling the same problems'
My Week... Alan Jagoe
Alan Jagoe is looking forward to some quality time with his young family and some development time on the home farm in Carragaline in Co Cork when he steps down this week as president of CEJA, the European young farmers' lobby group.
There isn't a vacant spot on his passport since he became active on young farmer issues over six years ago. In the intervening years he has been everywhere from Europe to America and beyond.
He says he'll miss his hectic CEJA schedule which ends this Thursday, July 6, though he most certainly will not miss the hours on the motorway driving from Cork to Dublin.
"It's been hectic but rewarding. I have worked with all sorts of young farmers across Europe. Here we think of farms purely in terms of dairy, beef and a bit of tillage but there are some fantastic farmers across Europe producing olives, rice and beans and other crops. And like ourselves, they all have the same problems in terms of agricultural training, farm credit and generational renewal," says Alan.
"I hand over the presidency of CEJA this week and there has hardly been a week over the past few years when I was not way from the home farm - and sometimes I was away all week on either Macra or CEJA business," says the 35-year-old Corkman.
So, what's on his immediate agenda, I ask the farm activist, who runs his 400 acre dairy farm in partnership with his parents, Eddie and Agnes, a contract nurse, and his brother Gordon (28).
"Quality family time with the family," is the reply.
Alan is married to Helen, who hails from a farming background and they have two young children - two-year-old Laura and six-month-old Amy.