IFA reforms structures and procedures

By Ray Ryan
Published February 3rd 2005 in Irish Examiner
A plan to restructure the 85,000 member farmers’ body, now in its golden jubilee year, were drawn up by Michael Dowling, former secretary general of the Department of Agriculture and Food. Macra na Feirme president Thomas Honner said he was pleased the IFA had dropped its proposal to establish a national young farmer committee and that the Macra president would retain a full voting seat on the IFA national council. A new executive council, which has been reduced in numbers from the current 70 to 52, will be the IFA’s governing body. The position of IFA deputy president is to remain and county executives will be represented at council level by its chairman. The county vice-chairman will be the deputy representative on the council, when the county chairman does not attend. A new system of weighted branch voting using proportional representation will apply in IFA national elections for the positions of president, deputy president and regional vice president. National committees will be streamlined and refocused to reflect new priorities including environment, farm business, services and inputs, farm family and social affairs - with professional support. Professional staff resources will be deployed to new areas including Oireachtas liaison, consumer food and multiple retail liaison.