Young Farmers focus group session

Young farmers from across Ireland gathered in Kilkenny for an Ulster Bank* organised Young Farmer focus group session which explored the opportunities and challenges arising from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform and Food Harvest 2020.  The event opened with a panel discussion moderated by Pat O’Keeffe from the Irish Farmers Journal, and the panellists included Fintan Phelan, Teagasc; Paul Tully, Pig Farmer; Sean Cummins, Dairy Farmer; John Fagan, Sheep Farmer and Dr. Anne-Marie Butler, Ulster Bank.

The panel provided an insight into their personal experiences of expanding their farm business from a farming, banking and advisory perspective.  Topics discussed included expansion of the business, obstacles to expansion, how to overcome challenges to expansion and supports available..

Ulster Bank’s young farmer package includes a range of benefits including access to an unsecured loan of up to €30,000 for business development purposes. Applicants must be aged under 40, hold an agricultural qualification and have a prepared business plan.**

Speaking at the seminar in Cillin Hill, Kilkenny Ailish Byrne, Senior Agricultural Manager at Ulster Bank said:

“If you are under 40, have recently started a farming career or are about to embark on a career in farming, Ulster Bank is committed to helping you make the most of the opportunities in the farming sector in Ireland. The reform of the CAP and Food Harvest 2020 give young farmers a golden opportunity to expand their businesses and innovate. That’s why we have created a specially designed Young Farmers Package to help farmers support their ambition.”

Ulster Bank has a team of agri-specialists based in agricultural communities across Ireland, who are financial experts, are active farmers or come from a farming background. They provide on the ground expertise and support to help farmers make a success of their business.

Ailish Byrne continued:

“Ulster Bank has the people, support and products to partner with farmers through the early stages of their farming career and onto the growth and expansion stages. At Ulster Bank we are ready to work with young farmers and are committed to the future of farming in Ireland.”

Ulster Bank will publish a report based on the views expressed by the young farmers present today in due course.  For more information please visit




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Tuesday, 16 July 2019
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