Providing farmers with new options

Options for Farm Families is a Teagas course to help farmers take a serious look at your farm situation and provide information diversification ideas.

Options for Farm Families is a Teagas course to help farmers take a serious look at your farm situation and provide information diversification ideas.

Starting this week in Portlaoise, Teagasc say the course will help you examine a variety of new income opportunities including: direct selling, tourism, organic opportunities, energy crops, forestry, business plans and grant aid

In 2011 over 500 people participated in Options courses which are lead by Teagasc specialists and will include the experience of a local farmer or successful entrepreneur each night. The local development company (LEADER) are also involved in the course and provide an important possible funding link for participants.

John Challoner is the Teagasc Options course co-ordinator.

“While the priority on many farms is to improve the technical performance of the existing farm enterprises, on others there may be opportunities to add value to farm output or to diversify into other activities. The purpose of the course is to give you information on a range of alternatives. In that way you will be in a better position to assess which, if any, may have a role on your farm,” he said.

The course will be opened by Peter Young of the Irish Farmer’s Journal who has many ideas from his involvement in the JFC/Teagasc/Farmers Journal farm innovation awards.

The course stars on Wednesday, October 10 at the Teagasc Advisory Office, Portlaoise and will run for 5 nights over 5 consecutive weeks, at 8pm each night. All farmers and farm family members are welcome. It is is free but booking is essential. Contact - Teagasc Portlaoise at 057-8621326.