Council of Agriculture: Address by Mr Plunkett Highlights Progress and Challenges in Irish Farming
At a recent meeting of the Council of Agriculture, the Right Honorable Horace Plunkett, vice-president, presided and addressed various issues related to Irish agriculture. A key focus was the election of the new board for the Department of Agriculture and Technical Education, which Mr Plunkett praised as a highly effective and representative body for the industry.
Mr Plunkett went on to discuss the prevalence of diseases affecting livestock, particularly in southern regions such as County Limerick. The Council requested a conference with representatives from the Department and local farmers, gathering valuable information on the causes and treatments of the diseases, commonly known as white scour and lung distemper. To further investigate these issues, the Council sought the expertise of Professor Nocard, a renowned scientist in veterinary medicine, who had achieved notable successes in researching related diseases. With assistance from the French government, Professor Nocard worked alongside local experts to study the origins and possible prevention methods for these diseases in Irish livestock.
Additionally, the Council emphasized the importance of improving the quality of Irish livestock through the Live Stock Scheme. While they believed in decentralizing the administration and allowing County Committees to set nomination fees, they recognized the importance of uniformity and consistency across policies to maintain quality standards.
One challenge faced by the industry was the declining capacity of Irish cows to produce milk. The Department of Agriculture was committed to working on this issue, seeking ways to balance the multiplicity of factors such as various breeds and local conditions.
In coordination with the Districts Board, measures were taken to address illegal trawling along the Irish coast, which had significantly impacted local fishermen. The Department of Agriculture purchased steam trawlers for use in monitoring and enforcement, leading to a marked reduction in illegal trawling activities.
In conclusion, Mr Plunkett’s address to the Council of Agriculture emphasized both the progress and challenges faced by Irish agriculture, highlighting the role of collaboration between various stakeholders and partners within the industry. Through such cooperation and dedication, the future of Irish agriculture can be shaped to meet evolving demands, maintain high quality standards, and ensure the sustainability and viability of the sector for years to come.
Northants Evening Telegraph – Thursday 23 May 1901