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Conference on Innovation Support for Agriculture

Agricultural advisory and education professionals from all over Europe will be in Limerick next month for a conference themed ‘Innovation Support for a Diverse Agriculture’. Teagasc are hosting the 55th IALB and third EUFRAS conference at University of Limerick campus from Sunday, 19 June until Wednesday, 22 June 2016.

Speaking in advance of the conference, Chairman of EUFRAS, Dr Tom Kelly of Teagasc said: “This event will bring together key agricultural professionals from advisory and education including arable, beef, milk, organics, energy and forestry from across Europe. The conference comes at a time when the role of rural advisors in innovation support is becoming much more valued and appreciated, both globally and at European level. It is a great opportunity to share ideas, discuss issues and make valuable contacts. It’s open to all and will be most relevant to agricultural advisors and those involved in supporting the development of agriculture.”

IALB consists of over 500 private individual advisor memberships. It is primarily a German speaking organisation mostly from Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Germany. IALB was established over 54 years ago and while still retaining the IALB umbrella they are very active members of EUFRAS.

Ulrich Ryser, president of IALB, and head of the Swiss based Agridea advisory support organisation, stated that advisors have to look beyond the regional and organisational borders to learn and this will help them be more effective.

EUFRAS is the European Forum for Rural and Agricultural Advisory Services which was established in 2013 and have 30 member organisations in 20 countries. EUFRAS connects agricultural and rural advisory services, public and private, across Europe and promotes increased cooperation internationally and represents them at a European level.

Tom Kelly, Chairman of EUFRAS said that this was a fantastic opportunity for Ireland to showcase the supports provided to Irish farmers through Teagasc, private consultants and the industry and that many advisors in other regions throughout Europe want to learn from us.

The annual conference has a strong panel of Irish and international speakers. The event includes the plenary conference on Monday 20th, excursions on Tuesday 21st and workshops on Wednesday 22nd. The conference will address important issues like the European Innovation Partnership, the context and changing roles of advisors and consultants, the rural development challenges and some perspectives on the recent Teagasc technology foresight report. There is also an open exhibit and networking event, this will highlight new tools, services and research, relevant to advisors. The excursions will allow delegates to see real examples of how Irish agriculture, in different sectors, is responding to the opportunities and challenges. The workshops will provide opportunities for delegates to interact with each other around major topics.

Full details and booking at http://www.eufras-ialb.org/ and the closing date is Friday, 20 May. Learn from, and network with, these highly influential players in the European agri industry. The organisers would like to acknowledge all of event sponsors, in particular, Dairymaster and Failte Ireland.