2019 Nuffield Ireland conference to address agricultures role in growing a healthy and sustainable society

Nuffield Scholar, Karen Brosnan was announced as the new Chair of Nuffield Ireland at its AGM last night.  Originally from a dairy farm in North Kerry, Karen is a management, leadership and organisational change consultant with extensive experience in facilitation and strategic planning within the agri-food industry.

The organisation also announced the details of the 2019 Nuffield Ireland conference which takes place in the Castleknock Hotel on Friday 15th November 2019. This year’s event will address the theme of agriculture’s role in growing a healthy, sustainable society and will feature a panel discussion with industry experts along with presentations from five returning Nuffield scholars.

New Nuffield Ireland Chair

The new Nuffield Ireland Chair, Karen Brosnan is also the current Chair of Gurteen College and a former Chair of Ceres, the women in agri-business leadership network. She is a 2013 Nuffield scholar, and delivered a report on Pathways of Leadership Development for the Irish agri-food sector.

Speaking about her appointment she said, “I am privileged to have the opportunity to Chair a community of innovative thinkers both in Ireland and within the global network of Nuffield leaders in the agriculture, food and beverage sector. It is inspiring to work with an organisation that gives people an opportunity to build their leadership capacity through their exposure to global agriculture and build their networks around the world. 

A key element that we talk about in Nuffield is reciprocity. We look for people who will step up into leadership roles and give back. I have had the privilege of working with two previous Chairs of Nuffield Ireland; Geoff Dooley and Bill O’Keeffe, both of whom developed our structures and our international impact. I have learned a lot from them, and while daunting, it is exciting to have the opportunity to build on what they have achieved.”

Karen’s first outing as Chair will be at the Committee for Food Security in the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome next week. There she will join 45 other Nuffield scholars from around the globe, including seven Irish scholars, who will be participating in a series of events about sustainability, youth in agriculture and global alignment for the betterment of the agricultural sector.

2019 Nuffield Ireland Conference

This year’s conference will feature a panel discussion with Brendan Gleeson, Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Professor Alan Matthews, Trinity College, Dublin and Professor Alice Stanton, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and Devenish Nutrition.

The panelists will discuss agriculture’s role in growing a healthy, sustainable society and will challenge the Nuffield community to consider and act on sustainability initiatives to balance their relatively intensive agriculture systems.

Delegates will also hear from the five returning 2018 Nuffield scholars who have completed their travels and will present the findings of their Nuffield reports. These include:

  • Colm O’Leary from a family dairy farm near Blarney in Co. Cork will present the findings of his report: Farmer-led Animal Welfare – an opportunity for the livestock industry
  • Joe Lyng from a sheep and beef farm in Inistioge, Co.Kilkenny and currently Ruminant Business Manager with Glanbia will present the findings of his report on: The value in the market for grass-fed dairy product
  • Karol Kissane, a dairy farmer from Asdee in North Kerry will present the findings of his report: A review of perceptions of agriculture among primary school students and opportunities for developments
  • Klaus Laitenberger from Germany and living in Leitrim is currently an organic farm and garden inspector for the Organic Trust. He will present his report on: The potential of growing Yacon and Jerusalem artichokes as crops and functional foods in Ireland
  • Tommy Heffernan, a vet and animal health specialist, originally from Co Kerry but now based in Wicklow will present his report on: A cow-centered approach to modern dairy farming

About Nuffield Ireland

Nuffield Ireland is an independent organisation which identifies future leaders in the Irish agricultural sector and through scholarships, featuring international travel, facilitates their ambition to bring about meaningful change. The Irish organisation is part of a valuable global network through its linkages with Nuffield International.

The 2018 Nuffield Ireland scholars received sponsorship from FBD Trust, IFA, Irish Farmers Journal, the Golden Jubilee Trust, Meat Industry Ireland, Aurivo, Glanbia, Dairymaster, Dairygold, LIC Ireland, MSD Animal Health, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Kerry Group.