50th Anniversary Celebration
2019 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Tillage and Land Use Society in 1969. To celebrate the occasion we went back to our roots with this year’s Summer Field Meeting. The morning session took place on the farm of Hugh McDonnell in Bagenalstown and after lunch we visited the Brophy family farm in Tullow where our first president Stan Brophy farmed.
Our day then finished with the launch of a book, produced by ITLUS, to celebrate our anniversary before dinner, which was followed by a presentation of certificates to past presidents of the society at the Mount Wolseley Hotel in Tullow.
In the morning our president, Michael Phelan, welcomed all those who had come to the farm of Hugh McDonnell. Hugh told us about the development of his farming career and his involvement with ITLUS over many years. We then moved out into the fields where there was a large display of crop varieties which would have been grown by members of the society over the previous 50 years. There was also a display of some of the machinery that spanned that era.
In the field Finbarr Murphy spoke to members about the changes in crop varieties used in Irish agriculture and especially the changes after we joined the EEC. And John Metcalfe told us about the soil types on Hugh’s farm and how he had adapted his cultivation systems to help preserve and protect soil structure on the farm.
After a fine lunch on the farm we moved to Tullow to spend the afternoon on the Brophy farm where our first president Stan Brophy lived and farmed. Unfortunately Stan is no longer with us but his son John reminded us about the innovative farmer that his father was and how the farm had developed various enterprises over the years.
Our next speaker was Michael Moroney who spoke about the changes and improvements in farm machinery over the decades and how the tillage industry had led the way in adopting new technologies.
We then moved to the Mount Wolseley Hotel where the first item on the agenda was a discussion with the three young people who had traveled to Missouri in the US to participate in the ITLUS/Rosenbohm US internship on the farm of Kevin and Michelle Rosenbohm. The lads told us about their individual experiences and what they had learned and how they hoped to use the experience gained in the future.
We had hoped to have Kevin and Michelle as guests for that event but unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond their control, they were unable to travel. We look forward to having them visit us in the near future.
The last job before dinner was the launch of our book commemorating and celebrating 50 years of ITLUS. This book was produced by a subcommittee of members and a huge amount of work had gone into it. The printing and production of our book was very kindly supported by the FBD Trust. After a very entertaining talk about his time with ITLUS and the process of producing the book, Dr Trevor Storey presented the first copy to Jer Bergin of FBD Trust.
Following a very enjoyable dinner in the hotel our final deed of the day was the presentation of certificates to thank all of the past Presidents of ITLUS for their custodianship of the society and the evening ended with a group photo of all who could attend.
The society wishes to thank all the members and sponsors who helped in the organisation and running of the day. A gallery of images from the event can be seen below.