Viewpoint: We need the brightest and the best to drive agri-business
The ambition was palpable at the Agricultural Science Association's (ASA) gathering of hundreds of farm and agri-industry leaders in Kilkenny last Friday.
There was plenty of talk about the current woes of the dairy and grain industries and the pain being felt by farmers.
Yet there was also plenty of vision for growth and how we can add value to the raw materials leaving Irish farmyards.
A common theme was that with a finite pool of consumers in Ireland, tapping the all-important middle class markets abroad will be key for Irish farmers and agri-business.
Some of those involved in turning what were once small local names into global brands were on hand to share to their experience.
Hugh McGuire from Glanbia Performance Nutrition recalled as a child seeing the dairy by-product whey being sprayed onto fields.
What was once considered waste is now key to many of Glanbia's 80 different brands and products delivering around €880m in sales.
Kepak's Kevin Cahill outlined the company's ambitions for its new 'Stript' air-dried Irish beef protein snack in the US and Chinese markets which will hopefully take care of some of the forecasted cattle 'glut' on the horizon.