A selection of the crowd at the meeting which was held in Granard Mart.
On Thursday November 23 last in excess of 500 farmers gathered in Granard Farmers Marts for a National Knowledge Transfer (KT) event organised by Paul Belton of Midland Agriculture Consultants.
Although the night was one of the coldest nights so far this winter, with temperatures dropping into nearly minus figures, this didn’t stop the crowds.
Participants in the KT Program across the beef, sheep, dairy, equine and tillage sectors listened to key topics such as grass utilisation, agri-finance issues and legal matters on the night.
After an opening welcome from the organiser Paul Belton, the first speaker on the nights was Charlotte Kearney, manager of Granard Farmer’s Mart.
Ms Kearney gave some brief synoptic of the services provided by the Mart and closed her presenting by inviting more events like this to the venue in the future.
Next up was Alan Hurst, the Technical and Product Manager with Lakeland Dairies.
Alan gave a great insight into how increasing grassland productivity and utilisation can improve farm efficiency and profitability.
He also shared some interesting data collected by Lakeland Agri over the last five years and demonstrated how this information could be used to increase farm output and correct imbalances present in the soil.
Alan closed his presentation will some informative take-home messages which led nicely into the next speaker.
Local Granard man, Eammon O’Reilly from Allied Irish Bank (AIB), was next to take the floor where he discussed agri-finance, including farm loan applications.
Eammon has 19 years experience in the agri-finance sector and has a wealth of knowledge in this area.
He gave a very informative and helpful presentation on the night and shared practical advice on the changing dynamics of agri-lending as well as the agri-loan application process.
Most importantly though, Eammon shared the key components to a successful loan application as well as some of the most common pitfalls and how these pitfalls may be overcome.
The penultimate speakers on the night came from KBG Accountants based in Longford and Cavan town.
Ciaran Brady and Finola Tobin gave a comprehensive insight into taxes, accounting and corporate finance matters specific to farmers.
Ciaran highlighted the benefit of incorporation for farmers and spoke at length on tax matters relevant to farm succession planning.
The information provided by both speakers from KBG in relation to the various reliefs available under Irish tax laws, farming partnerships and stock relief availability lead to interesting questions from the floor at the end of the event.
Some say the best is always left till last and this may have been the case at this event, as the final speaker, Karen M Clabby from Karen M Clabby Solicitors gave a fantastic presentation on various legal matters which commonly arise in the agri-sector.
Well-known Longford based solicitor, Karen has over 15 years’ experience; she certainly exhibited her experience and knowledge on the night with clear information on wills, probate and succession planning, site transfers and self-build projects, land purchase and leasing as well as rights of way and title matters.
Karen’s take-home message of the importance of making a will, no matter your age, was great advice to all.
After taking-in all the valuable information provided by the speakers, farmers were invited into the Mart canteen for refreshments; much needed on such a cold night.
There, the presenters were on-hand to talk to farmers and provide more advice and information on a one-to-one basis.
Event organiser, Paul Belton closed the meeting with a sincere thanks to all the speakers for their thought-provoking presentations on a broad range of areas within the agri sector.
Mr Belton also thanked the farmers for attending the event and noted that without the farmers coming-out and participating, transfer of knowledge and improvement in farming practices would not be possible!