‘You Can Farm’ farm demonstration event as part of NEFERTITI project
The purpose of this interactive event was to promote dairy farming as a positive career, demonstrate different pathways to becoming a dairy farmer and to increase overall knowledge of dairy farming.
Today, 15th May 2019 a farm walk was held on the farm of Karol Kissane, Ballylongford, Co.Kerry for fifth year Agricultural Science students from schools from the surrounding catchment area. This event was organised as part of the demonstration campaign for the NEFERTITI project. Teagasc in association with IASTA (Irish Agricultural Science Teachers’ Association) hosted this ‘You Can Farm’ event with over 130 students attending. The purpose of this interactive event was to promote dairy farming as a positive career, demonstrate different pathways to becoming a dairy farmer and to increase overall knowledge of dairy farming.
The event stations/demonstrations included; 1) Karol’s farm story, 2) Feeding the dairy cow, 3) Breeding the dairy cow, 4) Milking procedure/Where the milk goes and 5) Available courses/Careers in Dairying. Students also had the opportunity to get involved in some of the demonstrations that were being displayed. Speakers included Teagasc advisors and researchers, Kerry staff, Dairymaster staff, Doreen Corridan of Munster Bovine, Pallaskenry Ag College education staff and local dairy farmers.
Karol Kissane, host farmer of today’s event believes that, “Farming is a really exciting career to be involved in. With challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and the question of how to feed 9 billion people by 2050, we now more than ever need the brightest and best engaged in finding solutions. This is why I want to share my story and hopefully inspire others to consider farming as a worthwhile and fulfilling career choice.”
Redmond McEvoy, NEFETRITI project advisor with Teagasc stated, “There are many reasons to become a dairy farmer. You are your own boss and there is the potential to achieve a great income from dairy farms across Ireland. Dairy farming offers an outdoor, healthy lifestyle and there are multiple opportunities out there on dairy farms at the moment.”
George Dennis, chairman of IASTA said, “This event is a great opportunity for students due to sit the leaving certificate in 2020, to visit a progressive dairy farmer in their school catchment area. It is also beneficial for the students to gain practical experience to help them with completing their Agricultural Science practical project. This event also allows students to find out about job opportunities such as relief milking which some are interested in as well as the careers available in the Agri Industry.”
Karol’s Teagasc advisor Claire McAuliffe said, “Todays’ event was an excellent opportunity to showcase a farmer who is implementing new technologies on farm to potential young farmers. Karol Kissane is operating an efficient dairy farm and is more than willing to share his farming experiences with a younger generation. It was encouraging to see so many young people interested in the day to day running of a dairy farm.”
The event was organized under Horizon 2020 NEFERTITI project within Network 10 “Farm Attractiveness: You Can Farm”. The Project “Networking European Farms to Enhance Cross Fertilisation and Innovation Uptake Through demonstration” (NEFERTITI) is a unique Network (selected under Programme Horizon 2020) comprising 32 partners and coordinated by ACTA, the head of Network of the French Agricultural Technical Institutes. The project duration is 4 years and it will finish to on the 31st December 2021. The overall objective of NEFERTITI is to establish an EU-wide highly connected network of well-specified demonstration and pilot farms designed to enhance knowledge exchanges, cross fertilisation among actors and efficient innovation uptake in the farming sector through peer-to-peer demonstration of techniques to be organised by themes. 10 interactive thematic networks are being created, bringing together 45 regional clusters (hubs) of demo-farmers and actors involved (advisors, NGOs, industry, education, researchers and policy makers) in 17 countries. Additional information could be found on the project website: www.nefertiti-h2020.eu