Election fever takes hold of farming groups
The seasonal festive cheer has been put on ice in the farm organisations for a week, with election fever taking hold.
New presidents will be elected by both the ICSA and ICMSA over the next fortnight, while the IFA is already in the throes of voting for a regional chairman for Ulster-North Leinster.
The race is also on for the crucial position of IFA national treasurer which has attracted a heavyweight line-up of candidates.
The ICSA election has gathered pace over the last few weeks, as regional ballots have taken place around the country to choose the association's 114-member national executive, which will elect the association's leader.
Patrick Kent has been president for the past four years and can continue for a further two years should he win the election. However, he is facing a serious challenge from the ICSA's rural development chairman, Seamus Sherlock.
ICSA insiders maintain that the vote is still too tight to call. The crucial national executive vote takes place on Thursday, December 14.
Meanwhile, Tipperary farmer Pat McCormack is the sole candidate so far in the race to succeed John Comer as leader of the ICMSA.
The deadline for nominations for the role of president and deputy president is this Friday, December 8.