James O’Donnell is a highly accomplished and influential figure in the Irish agricultural industry, known for his exceptional leadership, strategic vision, and unwavering dedication to the farming community. With over four decades of experience, James has played a pivotal role in shaping the success of Athassel Abbey Farm, an award-winning beef and dairy farm, where he currently serves as the Co-owner and Operator.
Throughout his career, James has demonstrated remarkable resilience, steering Athassel Abbey Farm through various challenges, including foot and mouth outbreaks, TB crises, price instability, and global supply chain disruptions. His forward-thinking approach led to the modernization and expansion of the farm, ensuring its continued growth and prosperity.
In addition to his commitment to his own farm, James has been actively involved in the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) for many years, where he held several key positions. As the President of ICOS from 2022 to 2023, he advocated passionately for farmers and the Irish agriculture industry, navigating through challenging times such as fertilizer shortages and environmental scrutiny. Under his leadership, the ICOS charter was launched to promote female representation and include younger farmers at board level, fostering a more inclusive and dynamic agricultural community.
James’s expertise in financial management and governance was instrumental during his tenure as Vice President and Chairman of Finance and Governance at ICOS. He played a pivotal role in the management of ICOS’s finances and represented the organization during critical discussions on CAP reform.
Outside the agricultural realm, James has shown a deep commitment to the local community through his voluntary board memberships and affiliations. As a dedicated member of various sports and educational committees, including GAA, Semple Stadium Management Committee, and Presentation Secondary School Thurles, he played an integral role in facility development and community building.
Throughout his journey, James has acquired a wide range of skills, including farm management, business development, advocacy, financial management, and board governance. His ability to lead and collaborate with diverse teams has earned him the respect and admiration of colleagues and stakeholders alike.
In summary, James O’Donnell’s remarkable contributions to the Irish agricultural industry and the local community stand as a testament to his unwavering passion, expertise, and dedication. He continues to inspire and positively impact the lives of countless farmers and community members, leaving an indelible mark on the agricultural landscape of Ireland.