Speaking at the Virginia Show last week, IFA president Tim Cullinan said our dairy sector is the main driver of growth for much of rural Ireland and its place as a world leader in the production of highly nutritious, sustainable food, from a grass-based model is the envy of the world.

“On display today, along with the fantastic dairy animals, is a pride in what dairy farmers do. These women and men have a passion to produce some of the most nutritious food in the world in a truly sustainable manner,” he said.

“The Food Vision Dairy Group is looking at proposals which will have potentially significant implications for the future of dairy farming in Ireland.

“It’s paramount that any proposals arising from this group do not endanger the low-cost, carbon-efficient dairy production model we have in Ireland.

“Any moves which may restrict production here will result in production moving to regions with a much higher carbon footprint.

“The dairy sector is a key driver of economic and social sustainability in many parts of rural Ireland. This sector must be supported, not restricted, if the Government wants to have a vibrant rural economy,” he said.

Female farmers urged to make PRSI contributions and plan for future pensions

IFA farm family and social affairs chair Alice Doyle has urged female farmers to take the time to check what PRSI contributions they have made to date and ensure that they are making a contribution when carrying out tax returns this year.

“As we approach the closing part of the year, consideration should be given to reviewing your PRSI record of contributions to date.

“This is important in terms of planning for your future entitlement to the State pension and may provide the opportunity to enhance future benefits,” she said.

Doyle added that many female farmers who are retiring discover that they are not entitled to the State contributory pension, as they have not made sufficient PRSI contributions.

“This is despite having worked on the farm all their lives. It is important to be aware of this issue when planning for the future,” she said.