Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Helen McEntee, has written to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, and the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, urging them to appoint a new Teagasc dairy advisor for Meath. The previous adviser left the post in August 2014 and has not been replaced.
“I have spoken to the Minister for Agriculture about this problem on many occasions however we are now into the spring and as of yet there has been no change. Teagasc is a vital information and guidance resource for farmers. Dairy farmers in Meath have been without a Teagasc representative since last August and this is not good enough, particularly with the abolishment of quotas just around the corner. The timing could not be worse. With the end of the milk quotas, a Teagasc dairy advisor is needed now more than ever to advise farmers on how it affects them and how they need to adapt their methods so as to benefit from the changes.
“Some farmers have said to me that they will withhold their subscription to Teagasc if the situation is not remedied. We cannot allow for that situation to arise. I have been in constant communication with the Department of Agriculture since the previous adviser left their position in order to secure a replacement. I understand that there is an embargo on recruitment but Minister Howlin has the ability to overrule it when necessary. As far as I’m concerned this is most certainly necessary.“Today I wrote to Ministers Howlin and Coveney, urging them to treat this as a matter of urgency and requesting that this position is filled as soon as possible.”