'I did the Green Cert as CAP reform was coming up, but the money went to the big boys. I was left high and dry'
Roscommon farmer Trevor Kelly says he did his Green Cert as the last CAP reform was coming up and he was assured there would be a category for him in in.
"I was not classed as a young farmer so was left high and dry," the Castlerea farmer says, which saw him with no option but to shelve his plans to increase his suckler herd until the Forgotten Young Farmer issue is resolved by the Department of Agriculture.
"It's purely a euro and cents issue because the lack of a farm payment limits his chances of expanding his livestock farm at Trien outside Castlerea in Co Roscommon."
According to Trevor, he's in no man's land as he'll be over 40 in July and will be outside the age limit to qualify to be a young farmer anymore.
There are around 2,000 farmers in a similar position to him, he says, and he's underwhelmed by the efforts of the Irish Government and farm organisations to sort this issue.
Not only did Trevor spend money and two years getting his Green Cert, he also has been investing in his farm since he was 25. "I started with 20 acres and bought 30. I'm renting more and I've built up my stock, build a shed and yard."
He says it would take about €10m from the current CAP budget to solve the issue and help the Forgotten Young Farmers but all they get from the politicians and farm organisations are promises which are never kept. "
We are being shafted," he says.