2019 Speakers

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Amii McKeever, ASA President
Ms Amii McKeever is the Editor of Irish Country Living, and is currently serving as President of the Agricultural Science Association. Before joining the Irish Farmers Journal, Amii worked in Glanbia in the corporate communications team and in the Irish Farmers’ Association as the executive with responsibility for the intensive livestock sectors. She graduated from UCD with a BAgrSc in 2003, a Masters in Animal Science in 2005 and a diploma in Strategic Growth from Smurfit Business School in 2013. She is a board member of Nuffield Ireland on which she heads up the communications and events portfolio. She is also a member of Ceres, the Women in Agri-Business Leadership Network and chairing the IFA diversity Committee which seeks to encourage increased diversity in the organisation.
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Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
Phil Hogan was appointed European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development in 2014. He was President of the Council of EU Environment Ministers in 2013 and Chairman of the European People’s Party of Environment Ministers from 2012-2014. He served as Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government from 2011-2014 and was a Minister of State at the Department of Finance from 1994-1995. From a family farm in Kilkenny, Commissioner Hogan is a long-standing member of the Fine Gael party and was the National Director of Elections in 2010-2011 and Director of Organisation from 2002-2017.
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Justin McCarthy, Irish Farmers Journal
Mr Justin McCarthy became CEO of the Irish Farmers Journal in January 2014, having previously held the positions of editor and livestock editor. Upon completing his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science in 2000, he spent two years working with Anglo Beef Processors in Shrewsbury. In 2004 he was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship and travelled throughout Europe and New Zealand researching Profitable Beef Production. On completion of his scholarship he took up the role as Beef Specialist with Teagasc in the West of Ireland. Since joining the Irish Farmers Journal, Justin has travelled extensively throughout Europe, New Zealand and South America. His reports on Brazilian beef production have been well documented across the EU political arena, which have claimed both national and international awards.
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Brendan Gleeson. Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Brendan Gleeson was appointed as Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on 2nd October 2018. He has previously served in a number of Assistant Secretary posts in the department, most recently with responsibility for EU and International Trade, Brexit, and Dairy Controls. He has also worked on policy development in the food and livestock sectors, for a number of State Agencies, and was a member of the Teagasc Authority until his recent appointment. Secretary General Gleeson previously served in policy and operational roles in the former Department of Industry and Commerce, and in the European Commission. He holds a BSc. in Management Law from Trinity College and Diplomas in Law and Public Administration.

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Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia
Ms. McCarthy was appointed the CEO of Bord Bia in early 2017. McCarthy was previously a director in the food and beverage division in Bord Bia for eight years.
Prior to returning to Dublin, McCarthy worked in Europe for Bord Bia when she held the role of director of French and Belgian operations from 1999 to 2001. She is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate from University College Galway and holds a Master of Business Studies from UCD’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She is also an affiliate of Harvard Business School and holds a certificate in Advanced Strategic Management from IMD Business School, Switzerland.
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Orla Battersby, Enterprise Ireland
Orla Battersby is Manager of Enterprise Ireland’s Food Division with responsibility for supporting both established and start up Food companies as well as the mandate for Foreign Direct Investment in the Food sector. Previously, Orla held several senior positions in Enterprise Ireland. Prior to that she led Enterprise Ireland’s Client Management Development Department which runs Leadership and Management Programmes for Enterprise Ireland clients. Orla has also held Head of Policy and Head of Education in Ireland, the umbrella brand used to promote Ireland’s higher education to international students. Orla currently serves on a number of internal Enterprise Ireland committees and has also served on a number of Irish Government Advisory Boards.
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Gerry Boyle, Teagasc
Professor Gerry Boyle is the Director of Teagasc and has held this position for the last 10 years. His position is centrally concerned with agriculture and food research, extension, and farmer education. Prior to becoming CEO of Teagasc, Professor Boyle was Head of the Economics Department at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Previous to this, he held the position of Economic Adviser to the Irish Prime Minister. He has also served as a senior consultant with the World Bank in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Professor Boyle is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a recipient of the Chevalier Des Palmes Academiques from the Government of France.
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Damien O’Reilly, RTE Radio 1
Mr Damien O’Reilly is presenter of RTE Radio 1’s Countrywide programme. He has also presented other flagship shows on RTE including Liveline, Drivetime, and Today with Sean O’Rourke. He is a founder member and current committee member of the European Network of Agricultural Journalists, and is a former chairman of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists of Ireland. Damien has previously won awards at international level for broadcasting, such as the PPI/IMRO Speech Broadcaster of the year award. He writes a weekly column in Country Living in the Irish Farmers Journal.

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Anneline Padayachee, The Food and Nutrition Doctor
Dr. Anneline Padaychee has a PhD in Nutritional Food Science and an Honours degree majoring in Nutritional Epidemiology. She is a registered nutritionist with the Nutrition Society of Australia and is a professional member of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology. She was named a Future Food Leader in Innovation by the AIFST and Food Innovation Australia Limited, is a recipient of the Nutrition Society of Australia’s award for Research Excellence in Nutrition and Dietary Fiber Research, and has won the title of Australia’s Best Performing Science Communicator. Dr Padaychee is also an independent consultant to industry bodies, private companies, the media, and academia both in Australia and overseas, and is also a lecturer with The University of Queensland and Associate Academic with the University of Melbourne.
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Tiffany Lee, North American Meat Institute

Dr. Tiffany Lee earned both her Master of Science degree and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Kansas State University in 2012. She practiced veterinary medicine in a mixed animal clinic in Limon, Colorado. In 2017, she earned a PhD in Pathobiology from Kansas State University. Dr. Lee currently serves as a Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs for the North American Meat Institute. She is also a liaison member for both the Meat Institute’s Animal Welfare Committee and the Presidential Advisory Council for Combating Antimicrobial Resistance. She serves on the American Association of Bovine Practitioners’ Foundation Board, Animal Welfare Committee, and Genomics Committee. She is also chair-elect of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ Pork Safety Committee and serves on the National Swine Disease Response Council.

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Mary McCarthy, UCC
Dr Mary McCarthy is a Professor of Marketing and Vice Dean for Teaching and Learning at the Cork University Business School, UCC. Her specialism is consumer behaviour with a particular focus of food. She is a Principle Investigator in the HRB Centre for Diet and
Health Research. In this position she has led research that examines the social and psychological constructs shaping food behaviours. She is also an Irish PI on a Horizon 2020 SUSFOOD food project that considers sustainable household food practices. Mary has published widely in international journals and recently has had papers accepted for publication in Psychology & Marketing Appetite, European Journal of Marketing, Health Communication and Consumption Markets & Culture.
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Nick Whelan, Dale Farm
Mr Nick Whelan is Group Chief Executive of Dale Farm since 2016. He is also a member of the Food and Drink Sector Council for the UK. He is vice chair of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, Chair of the CBI Northern Ireland’s Innovation Forum and a Board member at Dairy UK and Dairy UK Northern Ireland. In December 2018, Nick was also elected as a member of the Agricultural Forum. Prior to his appointment as Group Chief Executive of Dale Farm, Nick was Commercial Director in Glanbia from 2007 to 2016. Nick also held senior management positions in the Kerry Group from 1995 – 2006. These included Business Unit Director for Kerry Sweet Ingredients based in Worcestershire UK for 10 years.
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Eoin Lowry, Irish Farmers Journal
Mr Eoin Lowry is Agribusiness Editor and Deputy Editor with the Irish Farmers Journal. He graduated from UCD with a MAgrSc, and as a result has extensive experience in the international grain and fertilizer sectors. Prior to joining the Farmers Journal, he worked with Groupe Roullier, the Cooney Furlong Grain Company, Target Fertilizers. He has also held a number of senior management & leadership roles in the fertilizer and grain sectors including Managing Director of Target Fertilisers. He holds an MBA from Smurfit School of Business. He is the former president of the ASA and the Irish Fertilizer Marketing Association.
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Mark Griffin, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Mr. Mark Griffin commenced duty as Secretary General in September 2013. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Griffin was the Assistant Secretary for Water at the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government. He led the implementation of the Government’s water reform programme, including the establishment of Irish Water, the national public water utility. He led the planning division as Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government for seven years. Prior to that he served in the Department of Foreign Affairs as Environment Counsellor at the Irish Representation to the European Union in Brussels where he led negotiations on key environmental dossiers during the 2004 Irish Presidency. He has also worked in the Department of Finance. Mr. Griffin is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin.

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Andrew McHugh, Smart Farming Farmer

Mr. Andrew McHugh is a dairy-farmer based in Longford who opened up his farm to the Irish Farmers Association who found ways to improve efficiency in farming. This Smart Farming programme focuses on eight key areas that have the highest costs on farms or offer the greatest savings to farmers. Mr McHugh has spoken at many events about the benefits of smart farming and has published papers outlining the process, detailing how it is better for the environment and conservative in terms of resource usage and waste.

Oisin Coghlan, Friends of the Earth

Oisín Coghlan is the Director of Friends of the Earth, the world’s largest network of grassroots environmental organisations with over 2 million supporters in 75 countries. He was one of the co-founders of the Environmental Pillar, the advocacy coalition of national environmental NGOs in Ireland. He was elected to the Royal Irish Academy Committee for Climate Change Sciences in 2009 and served a 4-year term. Before joining Friends of the Earth, Oisín worked for 10 years in the areas of overseas aid and human rights. Oisín returned to Ireland in 2002 to become head of policy for Christian Aid, working on trade justice, aid policy and Israel/Palestine.

Roisin Hennerty, Ornua

Roisin Hennerty is Managing Director of Ornua Global Foods Division, overseeing a portfolio of brands sold in over 100 countries. Having originally joined Ornua Cooperative in Dublin, Ireland, Roisin later moved to the US and was responsible for the strategic marketing and launch of Kerrygold Butter and Dubliner Cheese in the USA. Roisin earned her primary degree at University College Dublin, holds a Higher Diploma in International Trade from the Dublin Institute of Technology, and is a graduate of the Executive Scholars programme at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She has also completed the Board Director Development Programme at the Kellogg School of Management.

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