You can play your part in Open Farm Weekend 2015

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Recruitment for The Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2015 is well underway and is looking for a whole host of new farmers to help educate the public on the realities of farming and food production.

Taking place on 13th & 14th June 2015, the award-winning event aims to involve approximately 25 working farms throughout Northern Ireland.

Collectively the farms will attract between 10,000-20,000 visitors, mostly from an urban/non agri background, and offer them a unique opportunity to experience farming, and learn more about the ‘Farm to Fork’ journey.

To help with the process The Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend has launched an online Farmer Information Brochure to help equip prospective farmers with an in-depth insight into the popular event which takes place on the 13th and 14th June for the fourth consecutive year.

Commenting on the event UFU Deputy President and chair of the initiative’s steering committee Barclay Bell said: “The Ulster Farmers’ Union understands the time and effort that goes into preparing farms for Open Farm Weekend and are extremely grateful to every participating farmer. With this in mind, we don’t expect farmers to commit to the initiative on a yearly basis, meaning we will always need a fresh ‘crop’ of farmers across the province to sustain the necessary number of real working farms to make an impact on the public’s understanding of food production.

“The recent launch of the Farmer Information Brochure online (www.openfarmweekend.com) explains the aims of the initiative and should answer any initial questions prospective participants might have through factual case studies based on real farmer experiences. Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend is very much a team-led event and farmers can rest assured that they will receive support in the run up to their event and over the weekend with preparatory site visits, training and information events and on call Farm Mentors.”

The award-winning initiative aims to give the non-farming public a taste of farm life and educate Northern Ireland consumers and the next generation on the work which goes into food production. Last year the initiative attracted close to 20,000 members of the public to 23 real, working farms across Northern Ireland and has ambitions to grow the number of participating farms even further.

Any farmers who would like more information can download the brochure from the “Open My Farm” section of the website or contact Project Manager Martin Byrne on 028 90393837 or email info@openfarmweekend.com