The 2018 Rally in the Valley is Upon Us

Post on: Thu, 18, October 2018

The Macra na Feirme Annual National Conference for 2018 takes place over the October Bank Holiday weekend (October 26th - 29th 2018) at the Clonmel Park Hotel, Clonmel, Tipperary. South Tipp Macra have been working very hard to ensure everyone attending will have a weekend to remember. Read on for full details of the events taking place.

The Rally will kick off in style on Friday night with live music from the one and only Marty Mone and his band followed by a DJ until late. Earlier in the evening the Irish Farmers Journal Know Your Agriculture Quiz National Finals will take place.

Agricultural Conference and Tours

This year sees a new format in our farm tours, which will allow for better engagement and discussion on-farm, by focusing on one enterprise and ensuring that guests get to engage with the enterprise they visit.

In order to make the tours as informative as possible, they will include speakers from Munster AI, ICBF, Dairygold and Bord Bia.

This year’s agricultural conference, hosted by the Macra Agricultural Affairs committee, and supported by Macra Agricultural Skillnet will be held in LIT Thurles. On arrival from the tours, lunch will be served, before the afternoon session.

The conference theme, “Sustainability in a Challenging World” is topical for many reasons, and we are delighted to have EU Commissioner Phil Hogan joining us, for a frank discussion with RTE’s Damien O’Reilly, followed by questions from members. Two panel discussions will follow, also with opportunities for members to ask questions and get involved in the conversation.

Beef Tour

The 2018 Beef Farm Tour will visit the farm of Noel and Joan Farrell in Golden, Co. Tipperary.

Noel and Joan’s enterprise was formerly 100% Spring calving and have switched recently to 100% Autumn calving. The emphasis on-farm is on excellent standards when finishing the suckler herd, and the Farrells slaughter bulls at 16-18 months, while heifers are processed at 14+ months.

In addition to their beef herd, Noel and Joan also have a herd of 200 milking goats.

Dairy Tour

Our Dairy Farm Tour in 2018 takes us to Gerard and Colm Taylor’s farm. The enterprise is in a strategic phase of growth, and Taylors are currently in the process of increasing their 140 strong herd to over 200.

They are 100% spring calving, and their business focus is on genetics, infrastructure and soil improvement. This growing family business has a big emphasis on land reclamation and making the most of the land at their disposal.

Alternative Tour

The 2018 alternative tour will incorporate local food business and tourism. First stop on our tour will take us to The Apple Farm, owned and run by the Traas family. Following our tour of the site, there will be an opportunity to purchase jams, jellies, juices, fruit, vinegar and cider in the farm shop, before heading back to the bus and on to our second destination, the Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel is globally recognised as a major heritage site, and in recent months, work on Cormac’s Chapel has been completed – this will be included in our tour. Numbers for the alternative tour are limited.

Club of the Year and Best New Member Awards

On Saturday night at an awards ceremony in the Clonmel Park Hotel, Macra na Feirme will crown the new Club of the Year and Best New Member.

The finalists in both categories are as follows:

Club of the Year Finalists

Freemount

Avondhu

Maudabawn

Cavan

Glanmire

Seandun

Kilkenny City

Kilkenny

Ballinascarthy

Carbery

Donoughmore

Muskerry

Best New Member Finalists

Ramor

Cavan

James

Conway

Causeway

Kerry

Alison

O'Connor

Glanmire

Seandun

Declan

O'Hara

Enfield

Meath

Laura

Hannon

Ballinascarthy

Carbery

Catriona

O'Donovan

Carrigaline

Seandun

Bríd

Ryder

Sligo Town

Sligo

Ann Marie

Devaney

Innishannon

Carbery

Rachael

Bateman

Athboy

Meath

Megan

Walsh

Caheragh

Carbery

Conor

O'Callaghan

Rathdowney

Laois

Cassandra

Phelan

Durrow/Abbeyleix

Laois

Diane

Seale

The awards will be followed by a Monsters Ball fancy dressed themed party. On Sunday we will have the Bord Bia Beef and Sheep Stockjudging National Finals and the weekend will be topped off on Sunday night with the Macra na Feirme Gala Banquet .

If you would like to attend the Rally, tickets are available on macra.ie/macra-skillnet