Kent scores narrow victory in ICSA contest
WEXFORD farmer Patrick Kent has held onto his position as ICSA president for a final two years after a tightly fought contest.
He narrowly defeated his challenger, rural development chair Seamus Sherlock, by 52 votes to 49.
The suckler and sheep farmer said his immediate priority is to look at getting fodder to farmers in border and western regions hit by weather-related shortages.
However, he said both Mercosur and CAP reform would continue to be critical issues for the entire agriculture sector.
“We also have to turn the debate on climate change towards policies which recognise the potentially positive contribution of farmers in terms of more renewables.
“We need to get back the respect for farmers. Instead of being blamed for climate change they need to be credited for sequestering carbon,” he said.
Meanwhile, poultry farmer Nigel Renaghan is the new IFA Ulster/North Leinster regional chairman.
He defeated James Speares by 1,111 to 787 votes. Mr Renaghan won six of the seven counties in the region, with Cavan being the only county to back Mr Speares.
The election contest garnered some attention after IFA Cavan chair Mr Speares apologised for comments made at a debate in Westmeath where IFA county chair Kenneth Bray asked the candidates how the organisation could get more women involved.
“James said he was going to crack a joke,” said Mr Bray, and the joke was that ‘women’s feet are smaller, so they can get closer to the kitchen sink’, but it did not go down well. “He also said that women do a lot of work behind the scenes on farms,” added Mr Bray.