An important question explored by the RURALIZATION project is how to facilitate our future farmers. On Monday December 14th 2020 a conference focusing on this question was co-hosted by RURALIZATION partner NUI Galway Rural Studies along with Ireland’s National Rural Network.
Leading the RURALIZATION project at NUI Galway, Maura Farrell opened the conference by outlining how RURALIZATION responds to the issue of new generation access to the farming sector and the need for more targeted policy to support effective generational renewal. Future farmers are a diverse group including newcomers to farming and the new generation that take over the family farm. Exploring what national and European farm data can tell us about the current situation and wider issues facing our future farmers, Anne Kinsella, Senior Research Officer with Teagasc and RURALIZATION partner explored the results of data analysis carried out for RURALIZATION.
Important in enabling our future farmers is not just focusing on the new generation but also the intergenerational perspective. Postdoctoral researcher with the National Rural Network at NUI Galway Rural Studies, Shane Conway discussed the importance of intergenerational communication and cooperation in the farm transfer process. Teresa Hooks, Research and Development Officer with the National Rural Network discussed the potential of Producer Organisations to enhance farm viability from the perspective of supply chain integration.
The RURALIZATION project is working to identify and assess innovative ways to facilitate new entrants into farming, succession and to address the issue of access to farmland. The conference also explored a range of approaches, focusing on national and international perspectives. Postdoctoral researcher on the RURALIZATION project at NUI Galway Rural Studies, Aisling Murtagh discussed some of the innovative land practices identified from an inventory carried out to assess how existing practices address the issue of access to farmland. Another Horizon 2020 project, the NEWBIE network also joined the conference to share insights on innovative ways to facilitate new entrants. NEWBIE creates a new entrant network, but also works to facilitate the development and dissemination of new business and entry models that can enable new entrants to successfully establish sustainable farm businesses. Teagasc is also a partner in the NEWBIE project. John Moriarty NEWBIE Project ADO with Teagasc explored the experience of collaborative farming developed as part of the NEWBIE project.
Presentations from the conference are available to download below:
· Shane Conway, Postdoctoral Researcher, NUI Galway and the National Rural Network – Transitional Arrangements: The importance of intergenerational communication and cooperation in the farm transfer process
· Teresa Hooks, Research and Development Officer, National Rural Network and Irish Rural Link – Enhancing farm-level viability through supply chain integration: The potential of Producer Organisations
Dr. Aisling Murtagh
RURALIZATION Postdoctoral Researcher
Discipline of Geography, National University of Ireland, Galway