AgriSearch has confirmed that the organisation is in the process of appointing an operations manager. This is a new position within the organisation.

The organisation was formed in 1997 to help dairy, beef and sheep farmers become directly involved with production-oriented research.

AgriSearch is an independent charity, incorporated as a company limited by guarantee.

The person appointed to the new post will work alongside AgriSearch general manager, Jason Rankin.

AgriSearch chairman, Prof. Gerry Boyle commented: “The new person will take on a lot of the day-to-day administration activities. The reality is that Jason cannot be expected to do all of the work involved with AgriSearch by himself. He needs help.

“The appointment of the new operations manager will allow Jason to take on a more strategic role within the organisation.”

AgriSearch support

Boyle said he is very conscious that a myriad new farm support and climate change-related measures will be introduced.

He has made it clear that AgriSearch will not seek to play any role as a delivery agent in this context. Rather the organisation will seek to ensure that all new schemes will be implemented in the most efficient way possible.

“And we can do this by nudging organisations, including Queen’s University Belfast and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, in the right direction in terms of the research work they carry out,” he added.

“AgriSearch is unique on the island of Ireland in securing its funding exclusively by way of levies collected from dairy, beef and sheep farmers.”

Meanwhile, an opportunity has arisen for an independent farmer trustee to join the board of AgriSearch.

The successful applicant will be actively involved in livestock farming and may have experience of working with the voluntary sector.

The appointed person will be able to demonstrate a strong interest in Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector; the challenges it faces and the role that science can play in addressing these.

Gerry Boyle explained: “Trustees have considerable influence over the strategy of the organisation and play an important role in its effectiveness.

“The Trustees are responsible for ensuring that the organisation operates according to its constitution and that the financial management of the organisation is sound.”

Boyle explained that in recent years, AgriSearch’s role has grown from mainly being a co-funder of research to taking a much more active role in leading projects and acting as a liaison between researchers, advisors and the industry.

“It also has a key role in articulating the research and innovation needs of beef, sheep and dairy farmers,” Boyle said.

“AgriSerach now has a pivotal role within the research and knowledge exchange functions for Northern Ireland’s ruminant livestock sector.”