Applications are now open for the 2018 Macra na Feirme/ABP Leaders of the Year awards. The Leaders of the Year programme aims to recognise Macra na Feirme members who have demonstrated excellent leadership qualities within Macra na Feirme and the wider community.

Launching the awards, Minister Richard Bruton said: “Employers across the country consistently need leadership skills within their workforce. I am delighted to launch the Macra na Feirme ABP Leaders of the Year programme to encourage the next generation of leaders within Macra na Feirme.

"The organisation has a proud tradition of leadership development in rural Ireland and I am delighted that Skillnet Ireland, through my own department, are supporting Macra na Feirme’s Macra Agricultural Skillnet in delivering leadership training and coaching to the agri sector.”

Martin Kane, managing director of ABP’s Irish operations, said: "As a business which is focused on helping to develop young people with an interest in agriculture and the wider food sector, it is an appropriate fit for us. We firmly believe in the need to nurture and encourage the next generation of talented young leaders, as well as recognising their achievements.’’

Speaking at the launch of the awards, Macra na Feirme national president James Healy said: “The Leaders of the Year awards are a very significant part of the Macra na Feirme calendar and I would like to thank ABP for their continued support of these awards. Macra na Feirme prides itself on its development of tomorrow’s leaders and these awards play a major part in giving our members who excel the recognition and encouragement they deserve.”

Members of Macra na Feirme can apply online now for the awards by visiting Applicants will be invited for interview in June or July and the results of the Leaders of the Year programme will be announced at Macra na Feirme county officer training in September. The closing date for entries is Thursday 31 May.

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