The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) recently hosted the LeadFarm Project conference, featuring the work of European co-operative partners from Ireland and other states.
At the conference, which was opened by Minister of State for Food, Forestry & Horticulture Andrew Doyle, ICOS showcased key insights concerning the LeadFarm training programme which will be launched and rolled out across a number of European States – Ireland, Spain, France, Latvia and Sweden.
The programme will support young European farmers and their businesses at farm gate level, helping them to realise their future ambitions within the sector. The training programme will cover topics such management, finance, policy, legislation, marketing and sustainability - key issues within the co-operative agricultural sector.
Featuring an online training platform with training materials for young farmers and a train-the-trainer programme, the programme will enable participants from the five countries to deliver the programme in their home country. The online programme uses a variety of methods to support the learning process including gamification, a new concept in the dairy sector.
Commenting on the LeadFarm Conference and new training programme, Minister Andrew Doyle said: “Access to Land, Credit and educational opportunities remain at the heart of challenges facing our young farmers, not just in Ireland, but across the European Union. Projects such as LeadFarm play a critical role in addressing these challenges, offering our young farmers the opportunity to learn from each other, sharing ideas and innovation, and improving technical skills while promoting a cooperative approach to farming, and strengthening our family farms for the future.”
The LeadFarm training programme is part of the LeadFarm Project. The project is funded through the European Union Erasmus Plus Programme, which is managed by Léargas in Ireland.