News

Focus Farms Programme attracts 10,000 visitors

30th May 2012

The Focus Farms Programme delivered by Ai Services in association with Countryside Agri- Rural Partnership has attracted 10,000 visitors over the past 31 months, encompassing 6,000 individuals and 700 groups.

The Programme, funded under Axis 1 of the NI Rural Development Programme, aims to contribute to the creation of a more competitive agricultural industry through the provision of farmer-led training to farmers. The programme offers farmers the opportunity to visit Focus Farms covering 10 enterprises across the province. More recently, an additional 6 Focus Farmers have been appointed in the areas of beef, sheep and organic production.

The Benchmarking Programme which is also funded under Axis 1 of the Rural Development Programme, aims to contribute to the creation of a more competitive agricultural industry through the provision of quality information to farmers and growers from which they can make business decisions.

The number of farmers participating in the current benchmarking scheme currently stands at 1800.

Both Programmes have recently benefitted from the appointment of Eamonn Matthews to the position of Focus Farms and Benchmarking Liaison Officer. A native of Glenarm in Co. Antrim, he comes from a mixed beef, sheep and renewable energy background and has worked with DARD Veterinary Division and on a number of EU Funded Programmes.

The Focus Farms and Benchmarking Programmes are both excellent training and business development resources for every farm business in Northern Ireland. Participation in both schemes is free.

To register for a Focus Farm visit telephone 0845 026 7536 and to find out more about Benchmarking telephone 0845 026 7537 or visit www.countrysiderural.co.uk