Speaking on C103’s Cork Today show, Healy said: “Plenty of people in my own club would be ‘Macra babies’ as we like to title them.

“It’s the unofficial dating agency of rural Ireland. Who needs Tinder when you can join Macra?”

Earlier this month, James was elected the new Macra president after a three-month campaign.

“While three months sounds like a long time, it was very quick in passing. There was a lot of travelling to be done. It was tiring but it was thoroughly enjoyable.

Understanding agriculture

James said that although Macra would be known as a rural organisation, it has clubs in urban areas.

“It’s about broadening people’s horizons. We want to ensure that agriculture is an industry that people understand and we want them to understand where their food is coming from.

It is important that those clubs in urban areas are experiencing Macra because we can remake that connection. If we improve the understanding of rural life that people in urban areas have, then maybe we would have less of this urban/rural divide,” he said.

The future of Macra

Healy, who will take up the role of president next month, said one of the biggest challenges for Macra and rural Ireland is the higher number of employment opportunities in cities and people moving away from rural areas.

“To keep our rural communities alive and to ensure there are members there... we need to be fighting to keep employment in rural areas,” he said.

Currently, Macra has in the region of 9,000 members from the ages of 17 to 35. Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal shortly after he was elected, Healy said that increasing membership and participation within the organisation is his key ambition for his two-year term.

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