An active farmer must be defined by the work done on the farm and not by money earned off farm, new Monaghan IFA chair Patrick McCormick has said.

The comments came during the Monaghan IFA AGM on Tuesday night, where McCormick was appointed to the role of chair, replacing Frank Brady who held the position for the previous four years.

“In the negotiations around CAP and the definition of an active farmer, Monaghan people can’t be disadvantaged,” McCormick continued.

“Our farmers, whose off farm income is greater than their on farm income, are still active farmers and probably work harder than some who work full-time.”

Producer group

During his opening remarks, McCormick encouraged members to join Monaghan IFA’s Oriel beef producers group.

“The supermarkets and food processors are laughing at us. We must regain control, and be in a position to command a just price," he told those those in virtual attendance .

“I call upon farmers to help themselves through signing up and selling your cattle through our producer group.”

Rural capacity

Also in logged on to Tuesday night’s AGM was Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, who updated farmers on the new Our Rural Future publication, and the national broadband plan.

Louth IFA chair John Carroll highlighted that Government policy in previous years focused on concentrating the population in urban areas, asking Minister Humphreys the reasoning behind the change in approach.

“It’s not about a house for everybody in rural Ireland, it’s about building up capacity in villages and within smaller towns,” Minister Humphreys replied.

“If you look at a lot of our towns you see a lot of empty buildings, so we are looking at initiatives which will encourage people to move back in.”

Minister Humphreys said that by 2025, 90% of homes across the country will have access to fibre broadband.

“The amount of cable required to bring broadband to these homes could go around the globe almost four times. We hope to have 60,000 houses connected by the end of this year.”

Read more

Monaghan beef producer group a 'pilot project' for IFA