EU Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan, has publicly thanked the IFA's European director, Michael Treacy, for his "invaluable help and advice" in the run-in to his appointment to the Brussels executive.
"His advice and guidance to me on a personal level was extremely helpful," Commissioner Hogan said of Michael Treacy's help ahead of his appointment and successful ratification hearing in the European Parliament last autumn.
The unprecedented public tribute from a serving EU Agriculture Commissioner came as several hundred guests, including the most senior EU officials, gathered in Brussels at the weekend to salute the man who ran the IFA office along with his loyal assistant, Anne McGrath, for all of the past 26 years.
Mr Treacy is leaving the post after a marathon stint which spanned the terms of eight IFA presidents and six EU Agriculture Commissioners.
The Kildare man took over the post in January 1989 having earlier served as the Irish Government's agriculture attache in Germany. He also worked for many years in the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.
He soon learned that there was "no shallow end" as weeks after his arrival intense negotiations on GATT world trade talks and the MacSharry farm policy reforms began.
There followed several waves of changes of policy direction and fundamental upheavals in international trade rules.
But Commissioner Hogan, in summarising these huge challenges over a quarter century, said that throughout all, Mr Treacy kept his focus on the needs of Irish farmers.
Joking about his years in the job, Mr Treacy said he recently saw a sign on a roadside farm fence in Co Meath which he felt said a lot.
"The sign simply said: 'Beware of the bull - but mind the farmer!'"