By virtue of the fact that you are reading this section of the Irish Farmers Journal, you have a knowledge, or an interest in Macra na Feirme. I understand the interest and I thank you for your support.

This year, Macra is celebrating its 80th year in existence. It is a nice age to get to and to be honest we are looking well for it.

It’s fair to say that this year will not be allowed to close without Macra properly marking our important anniversary. It’s important to recognise where we are coming from to have any idea about where we are going.


Macra was founded in 1944 by a group of young men, who grew up in an exceptionally tough time in Ireland. They grew up through the Great Depression and continued to grow right into the so-called emergency.

When most rational people would have thought that we just need to hunker down and get through, this group of idealistic young men came together to form Macra na Feirme. Macra was brought into being by rural science teachers, agricultural advisers and indeed young farmers, who decided that the organisation be founded with two objectives in mind:

  • To promote education by every possible means with a view to stimulating interest and increasing efficiency in agriculture.
  • To provide social amenities which would help to make rural life more attractive.
  • That which was important in 1944 continues to be just as important today. With the pressures that Irish farmers are coming under in relation to the environment, it is more important than ever to look to efficient methods of production.

    Follow the science

    We have to change, we have to follow the science. The idea that anyone can bury their head in the sand and hope that things change of their own accord is ludicrous.

    Social amenities are as important today as they ever were. Indeed, coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for people to have opportunities to meet other people in a social setting is more important than ever.

    Too many individuals lived for a screen during the pandemic – that is not real life. We are proud that we can continue to support and run events that get our members together in a social format; next on the horizon is the North West Kings and Queens event.

    In some ways we have not changed and in some ways we have; 49% of our membership are women.

    A member is a member regardless of gender.

    We advocate strongly for all of our members, not just the farming community. We will still take to the streets when needed and we can also bring out the fun side of Macra (wellies) when required.

    We are the sum of our members. Without their and indeed your support, we would cease to be; that would be a travesty.

    We will keep all informed of our birthday plans through the Irish Farmers Journal and for others through social media. Keep your eye out.