Macra na Feirme
Macra na Feirme (Irish pronunciation: [ˈmˠɔkɾˠa n̪ˠa ˈfʲɛɾʲmʲə], officially meaning "Stalwarts of the land"[a]) is an Irish, voluntary rural youth organisation. The organisation provides a social outlet for members in sport, travel, public speaking, performing arts, community involvement and agriculture.
It was founded in 1944 by Stephen Cullinan, a rural science teacher, and is one of Ireland's oldest organisations. The organisation's original purpose was to provide young farmers with adequate training to ensure their livelihood and to provide an outlet for socialising in rural areas.
Macra na Feirme has established:
- Irish Farmers Journal
- Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Associateion
- Macra na Tuaithe (now Foróige)
- National Farmers' Association (now the Irish Farmers' Association)
- Farm Apprenticeship Scheme
- Irish Farm Accounts Co-op (IFAC Accountants)
- National Co-operative Farm Relief services Ltd
Since 1944, over 250,000 young people have passed through the ranks of Macra na Feirme.
Currently Macra na Feirme has over 8,000 members in clubs across Ireland. Approximately one-third of Macra members are directly involved in farming, with males making up 60% of the membership and females 40%. Macra is a democratic organisation, with membership representation at club, regional and national levels.
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