Minister Michael Creed and the Department of Agriculture must be congratulated for emphasising the importance of the agriculture industry and the farming sector in Budget 2017. Last week, we spelled out clearly some of the very real issues affecting farm families and it is fair to say the minister has delivered on a number of fronts and pointed the ship in the right direction in various ways.

Short-term income challenges on farms are helped by the innovative 2.95% interest rate loans exclusive to the agriculture sector and open to all farmers. It is clear the minister really rolled up his sleeves to deliver this measure.