IOFGA at Athenry

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Yesterday's IOFGA conference yielded a rich crop of intellectual stimulation. Peter Melchett of the Soil Association gave a dazzling presentation which seemed to touch on every point from grey partridges to GMOs. Charles “Merf” Merfield gave the most intoxicating presentation on soil and organics – with some truly revolutionary thinking that revealed the weaknesses of what we think of as “agricultural science”, and Michael Hickey gave a splendidly droll and witty talk on the history of the Association. The prize for technical glitches in a powerpoint went to John McKenna of the Bridgestone parish who found his images of Marvin Gaye and others disappearing into cyberspace as he called for members of the food bureaucracy to resign.
The award for The Next Big Thing goes to chairman Peter Young, who stands ready to succeed John Bowman as the chairman with the mostest, and is in line to pick up €5k for every future appearance, and the prize for Most Comfortable in His Own Skin goes to Minister Trevor Sargent, a man so completely on top of his brief that it is a joy to behold. Chef Enroco Fantasia and his crew of Gerry and Paolo produced delicious lamb and barley stew, and a brilliant lasagne with cabbage. The atmosphere at Mellows College in Athenry was only amazing, the energy of a young organisation that knows its time is now.