Technology Demonstration Farms (TDFs) provide a network of local farms which allow other farmers the opportunity to see new technology and innovations which they could adopt on their own farms.
The first of these TDF farms were appointed in 2019 and since then 42 farms have been appointed right across Northern Ireland covering a range of enterprises with well over 400 TDF farm visits completed to date.
The TDF farmers recently met at CAFRE - Loughry Campus face-to-face for the first time. Kenneth Johnston, Scheme Manager gave an overview of how the programme has been operating, including the very positive outcomes of a recent survey of visitors to TDFs.
It showed that 92% of farmers rated TDF meetings as very good or good and 96% of farmers surveyed stated that the TDF model should be used in future Knowledge Transfer programmes.
Philip Kyle from Aughnacloy, a dairy TDF then presented an overview of his experiences and this was followed by some very productive group discussions with the rest of the farmers present.
Beef Grassland TDF farmer Brian Cromie from Banbridge, Co Down said: “It was great to have the opportunity to meet with the other TDF farmers and to get feedback on the progress of the programme to date.
“It was evident talking to the other farmers how much we all have enjoyed hosting the visits and it was also welcoming to hear from the survey the positive feedback from farmers who have attended TDF farm visits. We are all looking forward to hosting more visits both face-to-face and online over the months ahead.”
Details of all the TDFs and how to book a visit are available on the CAFRE website.
At the moment CAFRE is taking group bookings only by emailing: email@example.com.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union fund the Business Development Groups Scheme and the establishment of Technology Demonstration Farms across Northern Ireland under the Innovation Technology Evaluation Demonstration (ITED) Scheme, as part of the Rural Development Programme.
Further details will be on the CAFRE website, Discover CAFRE Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
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