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The Family Farm is the Cornerstone of County Clare

The newly Refurbished Teagasc Office in Ennis, County Clare was officially opened on Thursday, 6 December, by Fr Harry Bohan. Speaking at the event Fr Harry Bohan stressed the importance of farming in the life and economy of County Clare.

He said: “The family farm and community are at the very core of rural life in County Clare. In recent years, there has been a recovery of our deep connection with the land. The need to balance global and local is paramount. We must balance large scale agribusiness with small producers. Sustainability is the new buzzword. “

He praised the Teagasc Advisory Service in County Clare for their sterling work over the years. “In the opening of this refurbished facility, Teagasc has renewed its commitment to farming and rural development. Teagasc are in a privileged position. They must pioneer new and innovative ways of income generation.”

Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc stressed the importance of education in a dynamic agriculture and food sector. “Instructors in agriculture were a better title to describe the work of professionals working in the advisory service as education is central to our work. Today, education is vital. Farmers should have a level of education equivalent to all other professions.”

Professor Boyle said that farming and food are emerging as being central to the recovery of the overall economy. This experience is similar to what has happened in New Zealand over the past two decades. Agriculture, food and tourism have emerged as the big sectors in the New Zealand economy.

Nationally, Teagasc has reduced its number of offices from 91 down to 51, closing 40 offices over the last three years. “Against a background of cutbacks, the completion of this refurbished facility is good news and indicates the firm commitment of Teagasc to the advisory service and farmers in County Clare,” said Brendan Heneghan, Teagasc Regional Advisory Manager. He said:” the advisory service was established in 1905 and we in Teagasc are proud of our long history and service for the betterment of farming in County Clare. Today, farming continues to be vital in the economy of County Clare.”

He said: “2012 has been a difficult farming year. It’s been an extremely difficult year for the many farmers on the heavy Gley soils of the county. We are very aware of the extra costs of production on wet land this year. Some Dairy farmers have spent an extra €15,000 -20,000 on feed this year.

Fr Harry Bohan, right after unveiling a wall plaque with Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle and Brendan Heneghan, Area Manager at the official opening of the newly refurbished Teagasc office in Ennis