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Events: my take-home message

Teagasc’s researchers attend many events throughout the year, sharing the findings from their research with national and international audiences. Here, we capture the take-home messages – key pieces of information that our researchers want people to remember – from recent events.

Agritourism for sustainable agriculture

Event: Agritourism 2023 conference, Teagasc, Ashtown, Dublin

Date: 22 May 2023

Setting up on-farm holiday accommodation in the form of bed and breakfast or self-catering cottages is a popular diversification choice for farm businesses. There are now many other choices of accommodation such as glamping, pods, shepherds huts and yurts.

The National Agri Tourism Conference was co-hosted by the Irish Self Catering Federation (ISCF) and Teagasc. Barry Caslin, Energy and Rural Development Specialist at Teagasc, says: “Rural tourism is a perfect way to stimulate real impetus into encouraging footfall out of the towns and cities. There is such diversity in rural Ireland’s visitor activities and attractions, as well as in our specialist farm food producers, all of which make a very compelling case to venture out of the city boundaries.”

The event, which was opened by Minister of State Pippa Hackett (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine), was well attended by farm families, agritourism providers and industry representatives; and showcased the many opportunities available to farm families in developing on-farm accommodation options to complement existing accommodation providers. It also covered developing complementary business activity, be that artisan food shops, fishing boats, cycling, heritage talks or walking tours. A range of topics discussed at the event included funding, planning permission and insurance for farm diversification.

“Over the past few years, fantastic diversified farm and rural businesses have opened up to visitors. There is a genuine focus on providing a great experience and developing unique local features and skills,” Barry continues. “This conference provides important guidance that complements the resurgent interest in Irish food, heritage and holidays.”

TResearch Autumn 2023

[pic cap] Presenters Anne Kinsella, Teagasc and Chair Galway Rural Development; John Finn, Chair Irish Local Development Network (ILDN); Barry Caslin, Energy and Rural Development Specialist, Teagasc; Tamara Fitzpatrick, Farming Independent; Jean Smyth, Fáilte Ireland; and Máire Ní Mhurchú, Chair of ISCF

Sustainable sheep production

Event: Sheep 2023, Gurteen Agricultural College, Co Tipperary

Date: 17 June 2023

A focus on grassland and nutrition messages at this event highlighted the increase in performance and reduction in chemical nitrogen that can be achieved from using companion forages, such as red and white clover says Damian Costello, Teagasc Sheep Specialist.

Damian explains: “There needs to be a focus on correcting soil pH by liming and using protected urea in combination with grass budgeting and improving utilisation to improve soil fertility and maximise grass production.”

Teagasc Sheep Specialist Ciaran Lynch focused on increasing the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of Irish sheep production systems. In terms of breeding and genetics, Ciaran emphasised that high genetic merit rams should be used. He says: “Recent enhancements to the sheep index system, including new health traits, the potential of genomics and ongoing work to identify sheep that have lower methane emissions are all showing progress for farmers and the industry alike.”

The event attracted thousands of attendees and had everything from technical villages to cooking demonstrations with celebrity chef Neven Maguire.

TResearch Autumn 2023

Save the date

Catchment Science 2023

Date: 7-9 November 2023

Location: Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford

The fourth international conference hosted by the Agricultural Catchments Programme, features a broad range of topics ranging from a session on ‘Soil Fertility, Nutrient and Carbon Management’ to a session on ‘Knowledge Exchange and Stakeholder Engagement’.

The event brings together scientists, regulators and practitioners engaged with water quality and gaseous emissions in agricultural river catchments.

The conference is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and includes field visits and a gala dinner.

Don’t miss out on Teagasc’s upcoming events! Visit our website to see what we have planned: www.teagasc.ie