Farm organisations getting into election mode
There was be a scent of election fever in the air at this week's Ploughing.
With the top leadership position in two of the country's major farming organisations up for decision over the coming months farmers were subject to some subtle canvassing for their opinions and votes down the line.
Both ICMSA president John Comer from Mayo, and ICSA boss Patrick Kent from Wexford, complete their current terms of office by the end of the year, putting both organisations in election mode.
The return unopposed for a second term of IFA president, Galway's Joe Healy, and deputy president Richard Kennedy of Limerick has consolidated their positions for a further two years, but there will be a head-to-head contest for the position of chairman in the Ulster/North Leinster Region.
There will also be much interest in the position of IFA national treasurer, regarded as a key post within the organisation.
Vacating the position is Jer Bergin of Laois who played a key role in steering the IFA through the most turbulent period in its history arising from the remuneration crisis in November 2015 that saw then president Eddie Downey and general secretary Pat Smith step down from their positions.
ICMSA president John Comer completes his maximum of three two-year terms of office in December, when the 101 members of National Council will decide his successor to take up office with immediate effect.
South Tipperary dairy farmer, Pat McCormack, the outgoing deputy president, remains the odds-on favourite to succeed him.