Recently crowned Grassland Farmer of the Year Caroline Walsh, did not hold back when it came to sharing her views on the forgotten farmer issue with IFA president Tim Cullinan.
“For the last 10 years for paying my IFA membership I have not been represented. Basically I pay my membership the same as everybody else, I can’t fall back on my basic farm payment because it’s not substantial,” she told him on an IFA Munster regional meeting on Monday night.
Over 250 farmers tuned into the virtual meeting, which gave farmers the opportunity to share their concerns with the IFA.
Roughly 4,000 farmers missed out on the Young Farmer scheme under the last CAP because they had not started farming in their own right before 2015.
Caroline laid out to the meeting how she had been impacted.
“I suppose we’ve lost out on the 60% grant, we’ve had no installation aid, we’ve had no young farmer top-up and the easiest thing to do was to kick us down the road,” she said.
“It might be an idea to sort out these young, forgotten farmers that are actively farming. I can’t compete with any of my neighbours, I think it’s an absolute disgrace that we’ve left there because we are the future.
“You have left us there high and dry and now is the opportunity. We’ve been told that we have to wait for CAP reform. I hope Mr president that you will represent me and all those people that have been forgotten about by the IFA.”
The IFA president responded by asking that Caroline meet him for another call to discuss the issue further.