Speakers

Pat Smith

Managing Director of Local Power

Pat is an experienced director and leader with board experience in numerous and varied businesses including farming and agriculture, telecoms, accountancy, insurance, energy and renewables with a history of business success and organisation leadership. Pat has a b.arg.sc from UCD focused on agriculture.

Gabriel Darcy

CEO of Lacpatrick Coop

As CEO of LacPatrick Dairies Gabriel D’Arcy has led the transformation of what was Town of Monaghan Co-Op and Ballyrashane Co-Op, following their merger, into an Innovative and Competitive cross border Dairy Enterprise with significant market positions in Ireland, UK, MENA and SE Asia markets.

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Prior to this Gabriel was Managing Director of Bord Na Móna and led its transformation
from a peat based entity into a leader in Renewable Energy.
Gabriel moved to Bord Na Mona from Kerry Group where he had spent over 18 years in
Leadership roles culminating in his appointment as Commercial Director, Kerry Ingredients
Europe.

A former Army Officer and graduate of NUIG, Gabriel additionally holds an M.Sc from
UCD an MBA from Kingston University and a Dip in Management Practice from Ulster
University.
Gabriel is a Chartered Director, he has participated in the flagship Leadership for Growth
programme at Stanford University and also graduated from the outstanding Timoney
Leadership programme. A member of the Council of IOD (Irl), Gabriel is a former Midland
Chamber Ambassador of the Year and IOD Outstanding Chartered Director. Gabriel is
married to Niamh and lives in Terenure with their three sons and daughter.

Mairead McGuiness

MEP, Vice President of European Parliment

Mairead McGuinness is the First Vice-President of the European Parliament and represents the Midlands-North-West constituency. As First Vice-President, she oversees relations with the EU affairs committees of Member State parliaments.

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Mairead is a member of the EU Rural Development, Environment, Public Health and Food
Safety Committee and Constitutional Affairs committees. An agricultural economist, her
work focuses on the future shape of agriculture and rural development policies, global
development policy, the environment, public health, and food safety and security.
Mairead was lead negotiator for the EPP Group, the largest political grouping in the
Parliament, on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (Pillar I).
She works on issues impacting on the sustainability of the food supply chain, including unfair
trading practices. She was voted MEP of the Year for Agriculture. Prior to becoming an MEP
she was a well-known Agri journalist, broadcaster and commentator

Matt O’Keefe

Editor of Irish Farmers Monthly

Member of dairy farm partnership milking 300 purebred Irish Pure Friesian cows at Church Clara,Kilkenny with brother Philip and manager, nephew, Bill.

  • Editor, Irish Farmers Monthly.
  • Producer/presenter ‘Farmshow’, weekly farming programme on KCLR, Kilkenny/Carlow Local Radio.
  • Former national President Macra na Feirme.
  • Former chairman Farm Apprenticeship Board.
  • Former vice chairman IFA National Dairy committee.

Mike Ross

Commercial Director of Wizuda

More information coming soon

Peter Hynes

Zurich Farming independent Farmer of the year 2017

Peter and his wife Paula are business partners. After graduating from Teagasc Agri College(Clonakilty), he has been involved in setting up a discussion group. They have expanded the herd from 50 to 150 cows and supplied Dairygold co-op. They also recently invested in a Dairymaster high-tech parlour. Peter is a passionate believer in grass measurement and new technology to boost profits.

Dr.Tommy Boland

University College Dublin

Tommy graduated from U.C.D in 2001 with a first class honors degree in Animal Science and later with a PhD in 2005. Following a short period involved in the organisation of the international grassland congress hosted in Dublin, Tommy joined the lecturing staff in U.C.D where he currently lectures ruminant nutrition.

Dr.David Atherton

Managing Director of Thomson & Joseph Ltd

David has been the managing director of Thomson & Joseph Ltd since 1987 and provides specialist nutritional services and products for ruminant livestock, forages and soils. David has developed an integrated approach to improve the utilisation of grass which also enhances animal health. David is also a charter member of the Royal Society of Biology.

Dr.Robert Prendiville

Teagasc researcher beef from dairy herd

Robert Prendiville is a beef researcher at Teagasc, Grange. His research includes dairy calf to beef and suckler systems. He is currently project leader on four studies at Grange; dairy beef production, early and late maturing dairy crossbred heifer and steer production, validation of the Replacement Index for suckler cows and alternative techniques to determine feed intake in suckler beef cows.

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 Robert studied Agricultural Science in UCD and thereafter completed a PhD at Teagasc, Moorepark where his work focused on Jersey crossbreeding in the dairy herd. After his PhD he began to work in beef research at Johnstown Castle and is now based at Teagasc Grange. Topics pertinent to his research include establishing profitable blueprints for dairy calf to beef production systems that are profitable for producers and marketable for processors. His research work is very much focused on optimising animal production from low input sustainable pasture based production systems.

Joe Burke

Livestock Manager, Bord Bia

More information coming soon

Darragh McCulloch

Meath diary farm partnership & ag celeb

More information coming soon

Pat McCormack

ICMSA Preident, Tipperary dairy farmer

Pat is married to Joanne and they have one child. They run a herd of between 100 Friesians cows at his home farm in Greenane outside Tipperary town and supplies Tipperary Co-op. His current milk price, with the 3c/l February bonus, comes out at 37.5/l, which he describes as a relief given the dismal returns of the past few years.

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However, he emphasises that a floor of at least 32c/l will have to be guaranteed if dairy farmers are to make a living. His main preoccupation this month (March) from a farming perspective is the breeding season, which runs over the next eight weeks.
As the recently ICMSA President he is also concerned by the upcoming Brexit talks, which he
says will impact one way or another on the Irish dairy and beef industries because of our
dependence on the British market for exports.
He believes the Government will have to be at its negotiating best for the talks, because of
the possibility of a new European border emerging from the process and all the commercial
barriers and disruption that such an outcome would entail.
His interest in farming issues stems from his father Tom, who celebrates his 90th birthday
this week and who is only now taking the idea of farm retirement seriously.
But it was his father who ignited Pat's interest in farm representation. He was a great friend
of the late Sean Kelly and Jackie Cahill – the former ICMSA leader and current TD

Kevin Nolan

Carlow tillage farmer

More information coming soon

Cathal Bohane

Dairy Nutritionist, Keenan-Alltech

From a farming background, Cathal attained a degree in Agriculture (BAgrSc) in 2000 from University College Dublin (UCD). Following this he completed a Masters in Agriculture (MAgrSc) specialising in nutrition which involved working in UCD and Teagasc Moorepark. He started working for KEENAN, who manufacture diet feeders as well as the InTouch feeding technology in Borris, Co. Carlow, in 2003 as a nutritionist. His work for KEENAN has seen him work in the Ireland, UK and Australian markets returning to Ireland for the last few years to assume the role of Head of Nutrition for the InTouch and KEENAN organisation