THE Offaly branch of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA), led by Offaly chairperson William Reid, met with a large number of TDs from the 31st Dáil to discuss relevant farming issues.
The event, which was entitled ICSA Agricultural Briefing Seminar 2011: “Helping to rebuild the Irish economy,” was organised so that TDs old and new could hear plans from the ICSA on how agriculture can play a big part in the overall economic recovery and what the biggest concerns for ICSA members are.
Over the course of the day, a large number of TDs, Ministers of State and Ministers attended the seminar held in Buswells Hotel and listened to the concerns of ICSA members on areas such as AEOS, CAP reform, School Transport, Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme, the nursing Home Support Scheme Act as well as others.
Mr Reid said, “The whole operation was a very useful and worthwhile exercise. We found that the feedback from the TDs was more than positive. It’s almost become a cliché that agriculture is going to play a major role in the overall economic recovery but all the TDs there were well aware of the situation even some of the more urban based TDs and they all agreed on the necessity of having a well funded, export driven agri sector. We were pleasantly surprised with the level of knowledge the TDs had on the issues facing the agri sector and how these issues may be best taken care of.
“We had a number of TDs from the county and we were delighted to be able to meet with them to air our views. They were very receptive to the plans the organisation has for helping to grow the sector. They believe that the ICSA will play a vital role in the economic recovery and that Offaly farmers have the capabilities to help deliver towards the goals of Food Harvest 2020.”