LeadFarm Conference highlights Generational Renewal in Farming
Innovative New Training Programme uses ‘Gamification’ to promote development of Young Farmers in 5 EU Countries
Fáilte, Bienvenida, Bienvenue, Laipni Lūdzam, Välkommen !
Wednesday 24 July: The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) has today hosted the LeadFarm Project conference, featuring the work of European co-operative partners from Ireland and other states.
At the conference, which was opened by Minister of State for Food, Forestry & Horticulture Andrew Doyle, ICOS showcased key insights concerning the LeadFarm training programme which will be launched and rolled out across a number of European states – Ireland, Spain, France, Latvia and Sweden.
The programme will support young European farmers and their businesses at farm gate level, helping them to realise their future ambitions within the sector. The training programme will cover topics such management, finance, policy, legislation, marketing and sustainability – key issues within the co-operative agricultural sector.
Featuring an online training platform with training materials for young farmers and a train-the-trainer programme, the programme will enable participants from the 5 countries to deliver the programme in their home country. The online programme uses a variety of methods to support the learning process including gamification, a new concept in the dairy sector.
At the conference, which was held in The Killashee House Hotel in Naas, delegates from across Europe and the Irish agricultural sector discussed the training programme and broader co-operative agricultural sector issues.
Commenting on the LeadFarm Conference and new training programme, Minister Andrew Doyle commented; “Access to Land, Credit and educational opportunities remain at the heart of challenges facing our young farmers, not just in Ireland, but across the European Union. Projects such as LeadFarm play a critical role in addressing these challenges, offering our young farmers the opportunity to learn from each other, sharing ideas and innovation, and improving technical skills while promoting a cooperative approach to farming, and strengthening our family farms for the future.”
Jerry Long, President of ICOS said; “This conference is an important opportunity for stakeholders from the co-operative and broader agricultural sector to come together and share knowledge and insights. The co-operative agricultural sector faces challenges associated with succession and the sustainable development of farms, in Ireland and across Europe. These challenges are further exacerbated by external threats to the industry so the work of the LeadFarm Project is essential to future proof the sector. The training programme is a key element of the future sustainability of the sector and also broadening it to ensure greater inclusivity with regard to gender. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with our European partners in delivering a programme that will benefit future generations.”
The Leadfarm training programme is part of the LeadFarm Project. The project is funded through the European Union Erasmus Plus Programme, which is managed by Léargas in Ireland.
The Leadfarm Project was established by ICOS (Lead Partner) in partnership with five organizations from five different EU Member States – two from Southern Europe (Spain and France), one from Eastern Europe (Latvia) and two from Northern Europe (Ireland and Sweden).
The LeadFarm Project aims to encourage a generational and gender balance in the co-operative agricultural sector through strengthening the capabilities of young generation of farmers (men and women) in order to ensure the generational shift in their family farms and co-operatives.
ICOS represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts – whose associated businesses have a combined turnover in the region of €14 billion, with some 150,000 individual members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas.
Notes to Editor:
LeadFarm Project Participants
Led by the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), the project consists of the Galician Association of Rural Cooperatives (AGACA, Spain), Changemaker AB (Sweden), the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre (LLKC, Latvia) and Services Coop de France, Union des Cooperatives Agricoles (France). Further information on the project is available here.
The LeadFarm project is funded through the EU’s Erasmus Plus Programme which is managed by Léargas in Ireland – the national agency responsible for Erasmus Plus funding and ICOS as the Lead Partner in the project with overall responsibility.