The Pike of Rushall farmer Tom Phelan has been elected the new chairman of the IFA National Dairy Committee.
He runs his own dairy farm in the Pike of Rushall along with his wife, Caroline, and his children Martin, Karen and Marie-Thérèse.
Tom is a well known farming spokesman, and has been chair of his own Glanbia area as well as regional sector.
He was Laois Macra na Feirme Chairman and has plenty experience within IFA, serving on the Dairy and Farm Business Committees and as County Chairman for Laois.
He has also been representing the National Dairy Committee on the IFA Animal Health Project.
Speaking to the IFA website, Tom Phelan said: “I am conscious that I am starting my term as Chair of the National Dairy Committee after a strong year for dairy trade and milk prices, and with more challenging market conditions ahead”.
“Optimising milk prices will remain my top priority. Nothing has a bigger impact on dairy farmers’ incomes. Volatility is continuing to challenge dairy farmers’ incomes. We need to develop more income risk management tools.”
We must defend the farm family model, as it is intrinsic to our farming industry. While recognising that sustainability is a very important issue for the entire industry, farmers must see a return for their effort.
“Our ability to attract and retain labour onto dairy farms will be crucial. The dairy industry has enormous potential to deliver for farmers and for the Irish economy. However, future industry planning must be based on delivering sustainable returns for farmers, rather than be purely supply driven.”