Wednesday, April 06, 2016

DAIRY farmer Brian Rushe was elected as the new chairman of the Kildare branch of the Irish Farmers Association at the county’s AGM in Newbridge on Wednesday night.

The father of two from Derrinturn in Carbury, who is first generation father, said he is passionate about family, farming, cattle and grass.

He is a regular contributor to the Farmers Journal with his column ‘Farmer Writes’.

He is married to Rebecca and together with his parents he commenced milk production in the Spring of 2013.

Brian Rushe , new chairperson of the Kildare branch of the IFA

Brian Rushe , new chairperson of the Kildare branch of the IFA

Currently they are milking 80 cows, with the stock on hand to milk 140 cows in 2015; they have plans to expand their business to 300 cows in the near future. They are converting their farm from a beef and tillage enterprise, with plans in place to fully convert to a low cost spring calving dairy enterprise this month.

As part of his campaign he said he has become increasingly aware and concerned in the widening gap between the Irish general public and those involved in the agricultural industry.

“Agriculture is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and it contributes hugely to the economic and social well-being of the Irish state,” he said.

Brian feels that we are not effectively communicating this message to the general public, he feels that farmers and those involved in the sector are its best spokespeople.

“We need to work harder to develop an understanding of our industry across all areas of society. By doing so, I believe that Irish Agriculture will be in a stronger position to push through its Harvest 2020 targets and manage any controversies or opponents that might arise in the future.”

Brian intends to travel to Canada, America and Australia in order to study how advocacy groups in these countries are successfully getting their positive message across.

He replaces the outgoing chairman Pat Farrell, who is running for the deputy president position on the board of the Irish Farmers Association. The Athy based suckler and beef farmer is running against Limerick farmer Richard Kennedy and Monaghan poultry farmer Nigel Renaghan for the position.

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