Over 70 farmers and agri-businesses attended the Ulster Bank Building Capabilities event in Innishannon House Hotel in West Cork today. The seminar was led by a panel of speakers including Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed along with Dr Ailish Byrne (Senior Agriculture Manager, Ulster Bank), Professor Thia Hennessy (Chair of Agri-food Business, Department of Food Business and Development, Cork University Business School), Ann Moore (Dairy Farmer, Midleton) and Pat Smyth (Dairy Farmer, Mallow).
A lively discussion took place with Minister Creed updating farmers on Brexit and CAP reform. The Minister restated the ambition of FoodWise 2025 to deliver jobs, maximise farm incomes and protect and enhance the rural environment by working together and developing sustainable farm production models.
Panellists also discussed strategies to build capabilities and manage change on farms, funding for growth plans and how to improve work-life balance. The group heard from Ulster Bank Community Banker Donal Cronin on how farmers can protect themselves from fraud and improve their digital banking skills.
Speaking at the Ulster Bank event, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed said, "It’s a challenging time for the agriculture industry with issues like Brexit and CAP reform and that’s why this event is so important, so we can discuss not only these challenges but also the opportunities we face and how we can achieve them together."
Senior Agricultural Manager at Ulster Bank, Dr. Ailish Byrne added, "We know that farmers are planning for 2018 and beyond and managing change is an important part of that planning. We’re delighted to offer support through our Building Capabilities event and provide the opportunity to debate issues, share information and ultimately solve problems."