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Prestigious award for Roscrea's Peter

Monday, 14th September, 2020 10:30am
Prestigious award for Roscrea's Peter

From left: Peter Byrne, CEO, NCFRS, Seamus O’Mahony, ASA President and Tadhg Buckley, AIB. Photo: Finbarr O’Rourke Photography

Prestigious award for Roscrea's Peter

From left: Peter Byrne, CEO, NCFRS, Seamus O’Mahony, ASA President and Tadhg Buckley, AIB. Photo: Finbarr O’Rourke Photography

At the annual Agricultural Science Association (ASA) Conference which was live-streamed from the Maryborough Hotel, Douglas Co Cork  Peter Byrne, CEO of National Co-op Farm Relief Services (NCFRS) based in Roscrea, was announced as the recipient of the ASA Distinguished Member Award.   


The theme of this year’s ASA conference was 'Embracing Disruption in Agri-Food'.  The event, sponsored by FBD Insurance, featured an opening address from An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, an interview on international trade and Brexit from Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney and contributions from leading Irish and international agri-food experts.   


Announcing the Distinguished Member Award, ASA President, Seamus O’Mahony said: “Every few years, the ASA honours a member who the organisation believes has made a significant impact on the Irish agri-food sector in the course of their careers. This year, the prestigious ‘Distinguished Member Award’, sponsored by AIB goes to Peter Byrne, CEO of National Co-op Farm Relief Services. 


“Peter was one of the driving forces behind the movement to create an organised structure to co-ordinate, develop, diversify and extend the Farm Relief Services (FRS) in Ireland. Peter graduated from UCD in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science and became manager of NCFRS when it was established in 1980. Today FRS employs over 2,000 people nationwide and has a turnover in excess of €100 million.   
Led by Peter, it’s contribution to the provision of jobs in rural areas has enabled potential farm successors to supplement their income and remain on the land. Peter is a very worthy recipient of this year’s Distinguished Member Award.”   


Peter’s first job following graduation was as an education officer with Macra Na Feirme. In 1977 Peadar Murphy, then general secretary of Macra Na Feirme, charged Peter with researching the development of FRS and co-ordinating the existing 13 relief milking Groups then in existence. With Peter at the helm in 1978-’79, a further 20 groups were established.  When Peter began as manager of NCFRS, he was charged with the task of co-ordinating, developing, diversifying, extending and expanding the services offered by the organisation. The broad range of services offered now includes: 
- Providing hoof care, freeze branding, bovine and ovine pregnancy testing and fencing services;  
- Assisting Teagasc in operating the GLAS scheme;  
- Assisting Bord Bia in the provision of farm audits;  
- Establishing a personnel recruitment agency FRS Recruitment Society ltd;  
- Delivering the Jobpath Contract for the Department of Social Protection as part of the job path initiative through the FRS owned TURAS NUA;  
- Delivering certified training programmes in the safe operation of farm machinery livestock handling and first aid, and many others through FRS Training Services.  


Herdwatch which is the leading farm management software in Ireland and UK with over 12,000 farmer users. Peter lives near Roscrea in Tipperary and is a passionate GAA man. He is married to Joan and they have seven children.

 
 

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