Macra needs a new direction, says president elect

Thomas Duffy on the family farm in Maghera, Co Cavan. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
Thomas Duffy on the family farm in Maghera, Co Cavan. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Macra needs to become a stronger voice on all issues affecting the rural youth and not just young people involved in farming, says Thomas Duffy, the only person nominated to be the next Macra president.

He told the Farming Independent that as the third largest lobbying group in Ireland, Macra needs to get more involved in issues such as mental health, rural broadband and the impact of Brexit.

“It is difficult to gain attention in the fast media cycle. Macra needs to be quicker and louder but can’t become sensationalist in the process,” says Mr Duffy (right), who is national chair of Macra.

“We need to lobby on general rural issues and not just issues that affect farmers. We should talk more about the delay in broadband and the lack of mental health services. The social impact of Brexit isn’t often talked about. Leaving the economics aside, the damage that it could do to the peace process is worrying.”

He added that the agri industry needs to improve its carbon image.

“There’s a huge  focus in the media at the moment on carbon emissions and agriculture. A lot of the measures that can improve carbon emissions are cost efficient like low-emissions slurry spreading. Farmers are willing to do it,” says the part-time ag advisor.

“I talk to really ambitious beef farmers, who are very forward thinking and enthusiastic about the industry.”

A dairy farmer, in partnership with his father Ed and mother Kathleen in Maghera, Co Cavan, Mr Duffy is a member of Ramor Macra.

Online Editors