There has been a huge reaction to Professor Gerry Boyle’s comments made at the Dublin Economics workshop last week.
The director has come in for some severe criticism from beef farmers, with suckler farmers being particularly annoyed and frustrated at Teagasc’s take on suckler beef production v dairy beef production.
In a statement issued to the Irish Farmers Journal, deputy president of the IFA and Teagasc board member Brian Rushe said: “As the IFA representative on the Teagasc board I have spoken directly to Gerry Boyle and the chairman regarding what the director was quoted as saying in a The Irish Times article last week.
“I expressed huge disappointment and frustration on behalf of myself as a board member, the IFA and all suckler farmers.
“Gerry Boyle advised me that the article did not accurately reflect his presentation. I asked that the director and Teagasc would issue a statement clarifying their position.
“I want it to be absolutely clear that it is not my policy, the policy of IFA or the board of Teagasc’s policy to encourage farmers to switch from sucklers to dairy beef.
“Teagasc’s role is to remain independent and use the most up to date research and science to inform and empower farmers to make the best possible decisions on their farms regardless of what enterprise they are engaged in.”
Brian Rushe went on to say that he will be raising the matter at the next Teagasc authority board meeting.
“I will be raising the matter at the next board meeting and I will also be asking the incoming director, Frank O’Mara, and the chairman to meet with our livestock chairman as soon as possible after assuming his role.
“I’m a strong and unapologetic advocate for the suckler sector. It’s a national asset and its importance both economically and socially is felt in every corner of the country.
“I remain committed to ensuring it gets support in the new CAP and I fully support IFA’s livestock committee and its chairman Brendan Golden in that pursuit.”