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Farm Business Options Webinar Series

A weekly Teagasc webinar ‘Farm Business Options features news, views and interviews on current topics relevant to farm business diversification in Irish Agriculture. Farm Business Options is hosted by Teagasc ConnectEd and live-streamed through Zoom. 

Farm Business Options is broadcast live from 11:00am to 12:00 noon every Tuesday. It commenced on October 13th 2020. The Series is presented by Barry Caslin, Teagasc Energy & Rural Development Specialist who is joined by guest presenters focusing on various topics of interest weekly and there is the opportunity for registered participants to ask questions. 

Participation is free. However registration is essential prior to each webinar.

Upcoming Webinars

Social Farming

Date: Tuesday, 2nd March - 11am - 12noon

Accessing an agricultural holding on a regular basis can help a wide range of people with a vulnerability improve their health and wellbeing and build social skills. Supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (DAFM), Helen Doherty, Social Farming Ireland, explains what anyone considering running a Social Farm enterprise needs to know. Two social dairy farmers, John Murphy from Kildinan Co. Cork and Jennifer Payne from Tulsk, Co. Roscommon will give an insight into their experiences to date.

Moderator: Barry Caslin, Teagasc Energy & Rural Development Specialist
Helen Doherty, National Social Farming Co-ordinator, Social Farming Ireland
John Murphy, Dairy Farmer, Kildinan, Co. Cork
Jennifer Payne, Dairy Farmer, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon 

Previous Webinars

The previous webinars dealt with a wide range of topics including: 

  • Steps towards an on farm diversification
  • Coping with the pressures of farming
  • Adding value to farm produced food
  • Insurance issues
  • Free range egg production 
  • Organic farming and farm shop
  • Boat and bike hire
  • Glamping
  • Buffalo farming
  • Yogurt making
  • Health enterprises 
  • Quail farming
  • Tea rooms
  • Self catering accommodation
  • Camping kettles
  • Open farm
  • Goat farming
  • Solar PV (Solar Panels)
  • The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH)

There are case studies from counties: Cork, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo and Roscommon. 

See below for more information and to view webinars

Award-winning potato, cheese and pet farm enterprises in Co. Cork

Tuesday, 23rd February: Webinar host, Aisling Molloy, Drystock Advisor, Teagasc Kanturk was joined by a panel of guests to discuss Award-winning potato, cheese and pet farm enterprises in Co. Cork. The panellists gave an insight into their journey diversifying from traditional farming to potato, cheese and pet farm enterprises.


View factsheets on:


Enterprising and Sustainable Energy Communities in Louth and Kerry

Tuesday, 16th February: Diversifying into non-farming business ventures is now almost an essential for farmers who want to secure their financial survival. This webinar focused on the key steps involved in farm diversification. There is a growing interest in rural participation in various energy communities programmes. Deirdre de Bhailís, Dingle Hub Manager gave an insight into how dairy farmers in West Kerry plan to reduce their energy costs and generate renewable electricity. Kevin O'Sullivan, Teagasc discussed the ECCO - Creating new local Energy Community Co-Operatives, which is part of an InterReg IV project.

Moderator: Barry Caslin, Teagasc Energy & Rural Development Specialist
Gerry Reaburn, Rural Community Development Specialist and Renewable Energy Researcher
Deirdre de BhailísDingle Creativity and Innovation Hub Manager
Kevin O’Sullivan, Teagasc Kerry/Limerick Advisor 

Farm Diversification in the Burren Region of County Clare

Tuesday, 9th February: In this webinar, Martina Enright, Teagasc Clare was joined by three champions in the Burren Region, two of which diversified their farm business into food and the other established an Agri-tourism business. Gloria Callinan from Clare Local Development Company also outlined the funding and supports available to farmers. 

Moderator: Martina Enright, Teagasc Clare
Siobhán Ní Gháirbhith, St Tola Irish Goats Cheese
Brid Fahy, Linnalla Pure Irish Ice Cream
Sean Davoren, Caherconnell Stone Fort 
Gloria Callinan, Clare Local Development Company


View factsheets on:

Value added food production in the Kerry/Limerick Region

Tuesday, 2nd February: Farmers often ask the question ‘how can I make more money from the food produced on my farm?’. In this webinar, Padraig Fitzgerald, Teagasc Kerry/Limerick will be talking to two farmers who did just that. They will give an insight into why they diversified into adding extra value to their food and how they did it. The panel will also be looking at the steps of how to diversify your farm and the supports that are available to farmers. 

Moderator: Padraig Fitzgerald, Teagasc Kerry/Limerick
Nick Cotter, Cotter Organic Lamb  
Kate Carmody
Beal Organic Cheese  
John Hassett
Ballyhoura Development CLG

View factsheets on:

Irish Farmers Connecting to the Grid

Tuesday, 26th January: On-site generation of renewable electricity has become an element of many farming businesses across Europe. Barry Caslin, Teagasc discusses options for micro-generation, community projects and large scale options for the Agri-industry to produce and sell renewable electricity whilst de-carbonising electricity production in Ireland.

Grainne Blount, Natural Forces
Tom MarrenAstatine – Combined Energy Solutions
Rory MullanMullanGrid Consulting


View a factsheet on On-site Electricity Generation

Opportunities for Industrial Hemp in Irish Agriculture

Tuesday, 19th January: This webinar gave an insight into the various uses for industrial hemp and its impacts on the modern day world! But what exactly is hemp? Is it legal and safe to use? How exactly can hemp be used? Barry Caslin, Teagasc dives into these questions with farmers and industry specialists.

Liam Donohue, Technological University Dublin (Hemp Insulation) 
Alan Jackson, Cereal Entrepreneur, Senior Energy Engineer and Organic Farmer grower 
Killian McGrath, Remedy Health and farmer grower

View factsheet on Industrial Hemp Production

Farm Diversification in Roscommon & Longford

Date: Tuesday, 12th January - This webinar outlined the panellists stories including free range egg production, organic farming and farm shop and boat and bike hire.  

Moderator: Donal McCabe, Teagasc Longford
Shirley & Derek O’Halleran - O’Halleran’s Family Farm 
Justina & Liam Gavin - Dumanilra Organic Farm  
Padraig Corcoran - Lough Ree Boat & Bike Hire

View factsheets on:

Farm Diversification in Cork West

Date: Tuesday, 22nd December - Three local farmers discuss their diversification experiences. Enterprises included value added dairy products, glamping and buffalo farming and products. 

Moderators: Áine O'Riordan & Seamus Lordan, Teagasc Cork West 
Alan & Valerie Kingston, Glenilen Farm
David & Elizabeth Ross, Top of the Rock Pod Park and walking Centre 
Johnny Lynch, Macroom Buffalo Farm

View factsheets on: 

The Farm: feeding the mind and body

Tuesday, 15th December - This webinar demonstrated how two farms have diversified their enterprises with one focusing on providing high quality, healthy organic dishes, while the other hopes to use nature, the environment and art therapy to provide mindfulness and wellbeing to its customers.

Moderator: Rachel Taylor, Teagasc Kildare
Stephen and Heidi Morrison, Creative Retreat Centre in Kill   
James FennellGreen Barn at Burtown House in Athy
Helen Mulhall, LEADER

Diversifying the Farming Business in Leitrim

Tuesday, 8th December - Hear about short to medium-term business intentions and motivations, and how to work out if diversification is right for your farm. Enterprises featured - self-catering eco lodge, coffee shop/tea house and a quail farm.

Moderator: Cian Condon, Teagasc Leitrim
Panellists: Nuala McNulty, Tawnylust Lodge 
Helen HayGlencar teaSHED
Cianán Redmond, 12 Quail Farm

View factsheet on: Self Catering Accommodation

Farm Diversification in Mayo

Tuesday, 1st December - Are you a Farm Diversification Business at pre-start, start-up or growing during a period of rapid change and uncertainty? Anne O’ Malley, Teagasc Mayo Investigates Enterprising Ventures Keeping Mayo Farms Alive. 

Catherine O’ Grady-Powers & Family, Glen Keen Farm 
Joe Reilly & Family, Glasraí Organic Farm
Patrick & Seamus Kelly, The Kelly Kettle Company 
Fionnán Nestor, Fáilte Ireland

Walking towards Wellness

Tuesday, 24th November - Bernard Doorley, Teagasc Offaly discusses on farm diversifications with a focus on coping with the pressures of farming. 

Finola Colgan, Mental Health Ireland 
Alastair Ferrar, Landscape Architect & Ecological Designer 
Peter Devlin Ma. MAIHIP, Eco Psychotherapist

Adding value to farm produced food 

Tuesday, 17th November - Artisan is the buzzword in today’s food and drink sector. It means producing food in small batches while using a range of flavours, with emphasis on a freshly made product.

Eddie O'Neill & Carol Griffin, 
Loretta Kennedy, Mama Bear Foods 

Tell me everything I need to know about goats

Tuesday, 10th November - We are seeing more interest in goat dairy and meat businesses. This webinar looks at how they can be set up and managed. Cian Condon explores the option of goat farming in Ireland

Sharon Peacock, Cockerham Goats
Michael Finegan, Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese

View factsheets on goat farming:

More information here

Insurance around farm diversifications

Tuesday, 3rd November - Farm insurance covers the policyholder only for the business of farming. The first rule on diversifying is to inform your insurer or broker of any changes or plans. 

Stewart Gavin & Ciaran Roche, FBD Insurance
Graham Kenny, Bike Park Ireland

View factsheet - Insurance Tips


Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – Questions for solar developers

Tuesday, 27th October - Land owners are currently being approached by solar developers to sign option and lease agreements for solar or wind projects. This webinar focused on the do’s and dont’s of such agreements.

James McDonnell, Teagasc Farm Management Specialist 
James StainesPrincipal of Staines Law 
Declan McEvoy, Head of Tax, IFAC 

View factsheet - Solar PV (Solar Panels)

Steps towards an on farm diversification

Tuesday, 20th October - This webinar focused on the common mistakes and key points to consider when starting a farm diversification enterprise.

Presenter: Allen McAdam, CEO, MCA Consulting

View factsheet - Planning a Farm Diversification

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH)

Tuesday, 13th October - The SSRH presents an opportunity for commercial and industrial heat users to meet their heating demands with renewable sources of heat, and to meet the costs of same with government assistance.

Ray Langton, SSRH Programme Manager, SEAI 
Sean Finan, CEO, Irish Bioenergy Association (Irbea)