BETTER Farm Programme – Introduction
The Teagasc BETTER Farm programme brings together the total resources of the organisation in a structure to effectively transfer usable knowledge from research to practicing farmers
It has three essential components.
- Research demonstration farms under the control of applied
research staff and are based at research centres or colleges. The most
recent research knowledge is applied to the farming systems operated on
these farms. The benefit in terms of efficiency, practicality and
profitability to the total system is measured, evaluated and demonstrated.
- Better Farms: Well managed commercial farms where research
recommendations are applied to the main farming system and the results
measured and demonstrated at local level. The outcome and benefits of the
research is evaluated in terms of practicality, impact on efficiency and
improvement in profitability. The results are benchmarked against the
research demonstration farms, other BETTER Farms and farms in the National
Farm Survey. The results from these farms are published and demonstrated at
regular farm walks and demonstrations.
- Discussion groups, where like minded farmers who wish to develop or expand their enterprises, come together on a regular basis on the farms of the members of the groups. The members share critical performance information on all of their farms and the performance of the farm being visited is discussed and evaluated by the members attending. This has been shown to be the best method of encouraging and facilitating the adoption of new technology and practices and is a vital component in the BETTER Farm programme.
For farmer clients who are not group members, the regular demonstrations and farm walks on the Research Demonstration and BETTER Farms provide an opportunity to see the research results / new practices in operation. The financial impact of the adoptions of these practices and recommendations is also made available.
The BETTER Farm programme is a critical part of the knowledge transfer process in the drystock advisory programmes and is being expanded into all the major enterprises.