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Mary Brennan

Project Title: Developing indicators of the social sustainability of farming using the Teagasc National Farm Survey

Overview: My PhD research focuses upon the development of social sustainability indicators for Irish agriculture, in collaboration with the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS). The emphasis of many sustainability assessments over the past two decades has primarily focused on environmental considerations, and consequently, social measurement has often been combined within the pillar of economic development. Modern Irish farmers now face new and contemporary challenges towards their livelihoods, and issues such as generational renewal and rural viability have been identified as key areas of concern within the Common Agricultural Policy post 2020.  As such, I hope to assess key social sustainability issues impacting Irish farmers, through the implementation of specific indicators.

I have always had a keen interest in sustainability assessment. Following the completion of my B.Sc in Earth Science, I graduated from N.U.I.G with a specialist diploma in Environmental Sustainability, and a Masters in Sustainable Resource Management from the University of Limerick. 

Programme Area: Agricultural Economics and Farm Surveys Dept, Rural Economy Development Programme

Supervisors: Dr.Emma Dillon, Prof. Thia Hennessy

University: Cork University Business School, U.C.C

Funding Source: Teagasc Walsh Scholarship