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Thursday 14 November 2019

Avondhu Macra host successful 2019 conference

Martin O’Regan from Banteer Macra, the All-Ireland -23 stock judging winner congratulated by club members at the Macra National Conference in Cork. Picture: John Tarrant
Martin O’Regan from Banteer Macra, the All-Ireland -23 stock judging winner congratulated by club members at the Macra National Conference in Cork. Picture: John Tarrant

John Tarrant

Last weekend Avondhu Macra hosted the hugely successful national Macra na Feirme Rally and Conference, celebrating 75-years of this most progressive organisation.

Under the direction of Boherbue native Marie Murphy the Avondhu rally committee had worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to ensure no stone was left unturned in organising the prestigious event.  "We were thrilled by the numbers in attendance. Participants, drawn from all over the country, came together for this prestigious event," said Marie.

The theme of this year's conference, which was officially opened by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed TD was 'Irish Agriculture - Thinking Smart' with panel discussion last Friday looking  at the changes the sector needs to make to adapt to ever-changing markets.

Speakers included Dairygold CEO Jim Woulfe, animal geneticist Professor Donagh Berry and Teagasc grassland expert, Dr Brendan Horan, who spoke about issues both inside and outside of the farm gate.  Members from the European Parliament, including Billy Kelleher MEP, also attended the conference,  with Macra national president Thomas Duffy complementing Avondhu Macra ensuring everything ran smoothly.

Not since 1991 has Avondhu Macra staged the event, when Martin O'Keeffe from Nadd was organising chairman. This family tradition was upheld this year, with his daughter Caroline the secretary for this year's organising committee.

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island was rally headquarters for the weekend, with  Awbeg Macra winning the Irish Farmer's Journal 'Know Your Ag' quiz  - much to the delight of members from Buttevant, Churchtown, Doneraile and  Killavullen. Martin O'Regan from Banteer also won the Bord Bia u23 beef stock judging.   Under the auspices of the rally, delegates also enjoyed farm tours and a trip to Midleton Distillery with entertainment provided by Cork bands Hell for Leather, Ruaile Buaile and the Fogues.

Corkman

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