Voting in the 15th IFA Presidential election began this evening and will continue over the next 16 days.

Members in 78 of the organisation's 947 branches located in every county will be first to cast their votes.

The election is to find a replacement for Eddie Downey, who resigned as president last November at the height of a crisis over high pay at the association.

Traditionally, farm incomes and farmer lifestyles have been the underlying issues in IFA election.

However, this time it is about rebuilding trust, and restoring integrity, transparency, and the credibility of the IFA.

The IFA has been haemorrhaging paid-up members and revenue since the high pay debacle at the top of the organisation erupted last November.

That crisis resulted in the resignation of both Mr Downey and IFA general secretary Pat Smith, and put in jeopardy the farmer unity that is at the heart of the association's strength and its ability to deliver for farmers.

There are three candidates contesting the election: Henry Burns from Mountmellick, Co Laois, Flor McCarthy, from Kenmare, Co Kerry, and Joe Healy, from Athenry, Co Galway.

IFA Returning Officer Jer Bergin has urged all members to go out and have their say.