Last week, well over 3,000 farmers went to the farm on which the Irish Farmers Journal has taken a 15-year lease. As Justin McCarthy spelled out in his editorial last week, the object of the exercise is to see if a well-done, drystock beef and sheep farm can return a decent income and to identify the pitfalls, opportunities and practical realities.

But as I walked around, absorbed the atmosphere and welcomed the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, I reflected on what a unique institution our predecessors formed in the Irish Farmers Journal.