Farm Ireland

Saturday 18 November 2017

Three Macra members receive leadership awards

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Three Macra na Feirme members were given National Leadership Awards this week, in recognition of their leadership roles within the organisation

James Barber, Patrick McCarthy and Cara O'Mahony were picked from six finalists to receive the awards, which were sponsored by ABP food group. 

James Barber is a 33-year-old dairy farmer from Rathdowney Co Laois, amd has been a member of Rathdowney Macra na Feirme since 2005 and has held the positions of public relations officer, secretary and chair within the club.

He is currently the national agricultural affairs chair, where he has been working with vice chair Thomas Duffy and the committee on increasing the activity of young farmer development groups around the country and developing agricultural policy for young farmers.

Patrick McCarthy is a dairy farmer from Ballydehob in west Cork. He graduated from Darrara Agricultural College in 2005 and spent part of his time in college on placement in New Zealand.

He is a member of Caheragh Macra in Carbery since 2006. He has been club chair, public relations officer, secretary and treasurer in this time. He was also elected secretary of Carbery in 2009.

In 2014, he was elected as Carbery’s national council representative and served two years in that position. He also served on Macra na Feirme’s agriculture affairs committee including a year as vice-chair of the committee. As a dairy farmer, he found the committee very beneficial and has seen firsthand the work it does for young farmers.

Cara O’Mahony is a primary school teacher from Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny and was instrumental in setting up the Naas Macra club.

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She has taken on numerous roles within the organisation at both local and national level and has been the NCR for Kildare since 2014. She was also elected on to the national executive last May.

Since 2015, she has held the position of chair of the rural youth committee, which is a diverse and enjoyable role. Speaking about Macra na Feirme, Cara says ‘‘I have seen people grow and develop as a result of joining Macra. It is more than just a social organisation. The six programme areas lend themselves to developing confidence, social skills and personal skills for members. Macra has given me a perspective on life outside of my career. I have met some fantastic people and been a part of some interesting experiences."

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