Applications are welcome for beef and sheep technology demonstration farms

Kenneth Johnston, Technology Demonstration Farms Scheme Manager, Sophie Tyner, Technology Demonstration Farms Scheme Co-ordinator and Graeme Campbell, Senior Beef and Sheep Technologist, CAFRE promoting the opening of the Beef and Sheep Technology Demonstration Farms on Monday 16 September 2019.
Kenneth Johnston, Technology Demonstration Farms Scheme Manager, Sophie Tyner, Technology Demonstration Farms Scheme Co-ordinator and Graeme Campbell, Senior Beef and Sheep Technologist, CAFRE promoting the opening of the Beef and Sheep Technology Demonstration Farms on Monday 16 September 2019.

Research has shown that early adopters of innovations and technology play an important role in convincing their peers to take a more innovative approach to their business.

To encourage a greater rate of technology adoption on farms in Northern Ireland, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is seeking to establish a network of Technology Demonstration Farmers who will host visits and showcase the use of innovative technologies on their farms.

Technology Demonstration Farms (TDFs) are being used to help DAERA’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) to deliver the Innovation, Technology, Evaluation, Demonstration Scheme.

This new scheme, is part of the NI Rural Development Programme and is funded by DAERA and the EU.

Initially five beef farmers and two sheep farmers are being sought to welcome other farmers onto their farms to tell their story of how they have introduced new technologies into their business. Farms will be selected under three themes namely:

Grassland Management (three Beef Farms);

Grassland Management (two Sheep Farms);

Beef Fertility (two Beef Farms).

Eligible farms are expected to highlight a range of technologies which should currently be used on the farm.

Farms are being sought for each theme with appointments being made on a competitive basis. Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria, and are short-listed, will be assessed by a panel during a visit to their farm.

Selected farms will be expected to host between eight and twelve visits for groups of between five and 25 farmers.

These visits will focus on the performance of the farm and will include data collected by the host farmers. CAFRE Beef and Sheep Technologists and scheme support staff will help 
the host farmer prepare to host visits and prepare information in relation to the farm.

At each visit a support assistant will be available to help them with arrangements.

All bookings will be made through CAFRE.

Technology Demonstration Farms will receive a hosting payment of £600 for each visit.

In addition, CAFRE will support TDFs by analysing the performance of their technology, providing appropriate diagnostic testing and arranging, where appropriate, for specialists to visit and speak on their farm.

Beef and sheep farmers who might be interested in becoming a Technology Demonstration Farm can find out more details about the scheme and complete an online application at: https://www.cafre.ac.uk/industry-support/technology-demonstration-farms/

Applications will open on Monday 16 September 2019 and will close at 4.00pm on Monday 14 October 2019.