Signpost Programme Design
The Signpost programme has four guiding principles:
- To involve all of the agricultural industry with the initiative using a collaborative approach to bringing about behaviour change;
- To build on the existing knowledge base and current industry initiatives, while avoiding duplication;
- To involve farmers, and other stakeholders, in the process – using a living lab co-design approach to ensure that the solutions for climate action are fit for purpose, meet farmers’ needs and are usable; and
- To ensure that farming systems are future proofed
Finally, while the need for climate action has been the stimulus for the initiative, the Signpost programme will adopt a holistic approach to sustainability by addressing all four elements of sustainability:
The Signpost Farmers
Teagasc currently supports a network of dairy demonstration farmers through our existing joint farm development programmes with milk processors. These farmers have been enrolled in the Signpost programme, beginning in autumn 2020. In addition, it is planned to invite a number of additional farmers to join the programme.This is to ensure that the diversity of dairy farmers is represented in the final network of dairy Signpost farmers.
Farmers from other sectors – beef, sheep, tillage and mixed enterprise – will commence involvement in the Signpost programme through 2021. Demonstration farmers participating in the Green Acres Calf to Beef programme and the Teagasc BETTER Sheep farm programme will be enrolled. Teagasc research, college and demonstration farms will be included. A number of mixed enterprise farms are to become Signpost farmers to highlight the potential of the circular economy.