Kirwan Agriconsultants Ltd.
Sheep farmers can avail of a grant of c€1000 by joining a sheep discussion group. The scheme has been launched by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and is open to sheep farmers with at least 30 breeding sheep or 100 hogget’s. The aim of the scheme is to encourage, through participation in discussion groups, the adoption of best management practice on sheep farms and increase profitability on holdings. Participation in the Programme should provide farmers with the additional knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the sheep.
Participation in the scheme involves attending 4 group meetings during the year, between February and September, applying for membership of the Bord Bia Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme and selecting two tasks from a menu of 10, to be carried out on your farm.
The scheme will run for three years and meetings will be held for the most part on farms, although one meeting can consist of attendance at a national sheep event.
Meetings will focus on 5 areas, namely grassland management, flock health, animal breeding/welfare, financial management and meeting market requirements. The agenda for each meeting will be set by the members and reflect seasonal considerations.
Three million euro has been allocated by the Minister for the scheme and it is hoped to have 3000 farmers involved, giving each farmer a payment of €1000 euro. On the cost side farmers will have to pay a facilitator to run and organise the group and liaise with the Dept of Agriculture, together with the cost of driving to meetings. Last year’s beef discussion groups proved very successful with participants being paid before Christmas and giving very positive feedback as to the value of the group system and the benefits of being involved in a group of focused and interested fellow farmers.
For more information on the scheme and to discuss whether it is suitable for you call James Kirwan at Kirwan Agriconsultants, 057 9125410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.