Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Thomas said he has "big shoes to fill". The beef and dairy farmer from Laragh in Co Cavan wants to create a greater awareness of the efforts of Irish farmers over the last number of years in terms of climate change and the environment.

"Farmers have invested a huge amount of money over the last 7 or 8 years to meet environmental standards, in REPS, farm waste management and various other schemes. I want to create a greater awareness of this fact, and I hope that their hard work stands to them going forward.