Training Success Story

22nd July 2015

Philomena Fegan was brought up on the family farm and has always taken a keen interest in the farming community.  She now lives on a beef and sheep farm with her family which keeps them all extremely busy.       

Philomena previously worked off farm and is now retired.  Over the years she has helped her husband with the farm business. “I have always been responsible for sorting the invoices, filling in forms and preparing invoices etc for the accountant.  In recent years DARD have been encouraging farmers to do more of their business online so when I received a leaflet from Farm Family Options detailing their Managing Farm Records Course I registered straight away.”

The course was managed by Farm family Options in conjunction with FIT NI.  The registration process was very simple, you could register by telephone or complete and return the leaflet to Farm Family Options.  The course was delivered locally over 4 evening sessions in Banbridge District Enterprise Centre.

Philomena undertook training and found the course very beneficial as it covered topics such as VAT online, accessing DARD online services and setting up spreadsheets.  “I am now able to complete forms online and send emails.  I have instant access to information through use of websites and I am able to do some of the paperwork myself therefore reducing costs.   Attending the training has given me an appetite to access further training particularly in relation to more detailed spreadsheets.”  

Over 2,400 farmers participated in the Fast Track into Information Technology training which was delivered in venues throughout Northern Ireland between October 2012 and December 2014.

Philomena went on to use her computer skills to complete FarmSafeNet, the online farm safety tool designed to raise awareness of the dangers that exist on farms.  “I found the website very easy to use and the information provided extremely useful.  The personal stories of farmers telling how they were affected by a farming accident were really hard hitting and would make you stop and think before carrying out any work on the farm.” 

Over 1,000 farmers have completed FarmSafeNet which was launched by the Minister for Agriculture & Rural Development in July 2014.   FarmSafeNet ran in conjunction with FarmSafe Awareness events which were delivered by farmers for famers throughout Northern Ireland.  Over 5,000 farmers have attended a FarmSafe Awareness event.