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14 November 2007

25 Years of IOFGA

The Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Asociation celebrates 25 years of inspiring work at its annual conference on Sunday. Minister Trevor Sargent is kicking off proceedings, Dr Charles Merfield of Teagasc will be talking about soil, Peter Melchett of the Soil Association will be speaking along with organic farmer Michael Hickey and John McKenna of the Bridgestone parish will be chipping in a few words.
And here is a thought for you: over 25 years IOFGA has been a force for moral good, preaching that we must preserve our farms and our agriculture as sustainable enterprises, and thereby protect our environment. Can anyone name another institution in Ireland that has seen its moral stature increase over the last 25 years, and seen its core principles proven correct? Most of the usual suspects – politicians, church leaders, media, legal profession, An Garda Siochana – would now be viewed much more sceptically by the man in the street than 25 years ago. But, organic farmers have producd great food for us, and they have been proven right in their analysis of environmental damage.
And there are people out there who still think they are no more than a bunch of hippies. But, these days, as we look back, we reckon a core truth is emerging: the hippies were right!
25 more years? 2,500 more years, please!