RTE’s Marty Morrissey was joined by Clodagh Cassin of the Irish hockey team and Leinster rugby legend Sean O’Brien at last Friday night’s event, which was attended by around 300 people.
Kilkenny man, the EU Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan, was the guest of honour.
Kilkenny ICSA chairman Ger O’Brien told the Kilkenny People it was an “enormous honour” that the association chose the Marble City to host its event.
“At the same time we are acutely aware that we are navigating difficult times. In 2018 we have had the perfect storm of fodder shortage, labour shortage and money shortage. ~
“Farmers are hurting and the job of ICSA is to get out there and help them and speak up for them,” he said.
The association announced a new initiative to support farm families deeply affected by stress arising from the fodder crisis.
The ICSA Fodder Crisis Family Support Fund aims to reach out to those farmers who cannot cope with all of the pressures and worries created by lack of fodder.
The dinner was preceded by two break-out meetings, one on fodder strategies facilitated by Martin Ryan of Gain nutrition and one on mental health.
The mental health meeting, facilitated by Zurich Farm Insurance under the banner “Tackle Your Feelings” saw farmer of the year Peter Hynes outline the importance of strategies to achieve work / life balance.
The event was also attended by Tackle Your Feelings ambassador, Irish rugby legend John Hayes.