The Focus Farms Scheme is funded under Axis 1 of the Rural Development Programme.
It aims to contribute to the creation of a more competitive agriculture industry through the provision of farmer-led training to farmers.
Focus Farms participating in the Scheme are commercial farms that demonstrate good farming practices. The farms represent a range of farm businesses and locations and promote good practice by example.
They are available for visits by groups of farmers, where they can learn, share experiences and solve common problems through discussion, farm walks and demonstrations.
Focus Farmers receive financial assistance towards establishing and maintaining their farm as a training facility and also benefit from benchmarking of their farm against similar farms.
Who can visit a Focus Farm?
Focus Farm visits are open to farmers and farm families who have a Business Identification Number (Business ID).
Why visit a Focus Farm?
Focus Farmers will be able to outline management practices and share experiences of managing a farm business as well as demonstrating:
Focus Farms will be benchmarked against similar farms. Visiting farmers will have an opportunity to compare their own performance information with that of the Focus Farm. They can also benefit from a mentoring programme which provides access to the Focus Farmer on a one-to-one basis to follow up questions arising from the farm visit.
What type of farm can I visit?
Focus Farmers have been appointed across a range of key areas. Key areas include the Dairy, Beef, Sheep, Pig, Arable, Commercial Horticulture, Organic, Renewable Crops, Diversification and Environmental sectors.
How do I arrange a visit to a Focus Farm?
Visits are arranged in response to demand. If you are interested in visiting a farm, you will be required to indicate what type of farm you want to visit and the area in which you live. You will then be contacted with a date and a time when the minimum number required for a group visit has been reached.
How much will it cost me to visit a Focus Farm?
Focus Farm visits are free of charge.
What precautions are taken to prevent the spread of disease?
If a Focus Farm is under any restrictions for disease reasons, visits will be suspended until the restrictions are lifted. Each Focus Farm is required to prepare a bio-security plan to protect stock on the farm. Visitors will be asked to wear clothes which have not been in contact with their own stock prior to the visit. Protective clothing and footwear will be provided by the Focus Farmer. Disinfectant dips for cars and footwear will also be available at the entry points to the farm.