Last week, Macra hosted this year’s CEJA young farmers conference in the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin, which was proudly sponsored by TAMA and FBD.

CEJA acts as a forum for communication between young farmers and European decision-makers.

Its main objective is to promote a younger and more innovative agricultural sector across the EU-27 and to create good working and living conditions for young people setting up in farming and those who are already “young farmers”.

Last week’s conference saw representatives from all over Europe come to Dublin with a prime focus on discussing SMART agriculture and new technologies, education, knowledge and skills, and finance and investment.

From these discussions, the first policy paper of 2023 has been approved.

After an internal discussion among the CEJA group, which was led by CEJA vice-president Anne-Catherine Dalcq, delegates approved the policy paper on access to land.

This publication will be released in February and further information will be available on the CEJA website.

Macra would like to thank Devenish, which hosted a farm walk on its farm in Dowth. Dr Connie Grace talked to the group about its research on multispecies and carbon neutrality, and ecology manager David Dillon talked to the group about biodiversity on the farm.

Dairymaster, which also sponsored the conference, hosted a farm walk in Swords showcasing the fantastic setup of its products in action on a well-established farm.

The two-day conference was a flying success. It was a great opportunity to give representatives from all over Europe a taste of Irish farming.

A thank you to the speaker panel who provided interesting insights – John Downes, precision farming business manager from CNH Industrial; Stan Lalor, director of knowledge transfer in Teagasc; and Eoin Lowry, head of agri in Bank of Ireland.

A special thank you to the sponsors – TAMA, FBD, Dairymaster and Devenish – who aided this conference to be the success it was.