The Heart of The Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme, in a close association with The College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise, have just finished their first round of farmer information talks.
All seven events were held within The Glens, focusing on areas of interest as diverse as bracken control to farm nutrient management, from renewable energy to the best sheep breeds for hill farms.
Laura McAuley, who organised the talks, said: “The purpose of this programme of talks is to provide farmers with practical and useful information that will hopefully help them with their farm businesses and to let them get first-hand experience on the kinds of practical research that is being pursued by DARD in order to provide effective advice to local farmers. At the Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership is a strong environmental remit. However, sometimes the environmental lobby may not always be seen as the friend of the farmer.
“Coming from a farming background myself and working daily on our own family farm, it was very important to me and the rest of our team that we should bridge this gap in perception.
“The fact is, in most incidences the better the farming practice, the better it is for the environment and indeed the farmer himself or herself.
“For example, with regards to farm nutrient management, prudent use of farm wastes and understanding of soil type and pH means that the farmer can often reduce inputs of costly bagged fertilizer.
“This in turn will save money while increasing productivity and decrease run-off into water courses. This is a common sense approach that can reap benefit for everyone.”
Laura continued: “The talks themselves have been well received with 140 in attendance overall. Indeed, so great has been the interest that we are working on more talks early in 2015 with potential site visits and practical training to follow.
“These courses are likely to include: The very popular farm nutrient management which has been requested again, a talk on rush control, soil structure and drainage, premium beef breeding, classroom session on hedgerow management and stonewalling and Aphis online training.”
Laura concluded: “The programme is still to be finalised but once again we are keen to meet the obvious demand in the area.”
For more information on courses and future training contact Laura McAuley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02820752100.