September 4, 2020

CAFRE Technology Demonstration Farms – Up and Running Again

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) has established a network of Technology Demonstration Farms. Technology Demonstration Farms (TDFs) provide other farmers with the opportunity to see new technology and innovations which they could adopt on their own farms.

So far CAFRE has recruited four dairy, four sheep and ten beef farmers to demonstrate technologies within a number of themes including feed efficiency, mobility improvement, grassland management and breeding. A number of visits to the dairy farms had taken place Covid-19 with excellent feedback and CAFRE is now taking bookings for future visits to all eighteen TDF farms.

John Rafferty, Mobility Improvement Technology Demonstration Farmer, pictured hoof trimming on his home farm

Dairy TDF farmer John Rafferty from Poyntzpass, Co Down says “I have had five TDF visits to my farm to date and the feedback has been very positive indeed with excellent discussion having taken place. I am really looking forward to welcoming more groups on to the farm again.”

CAFRE will also be appointing two additional Pig TDFs in autumn 2020 and applications will be invited from other agricultural sectors in due course.  Further details will be on the CAFRE website, Discover CAFRE Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

One of the Beef Fertility TDF farmers John Egerton from Roslea in Co Fermanagh was filmed recently on his home farm by the BBC NI discussing the advantages of TDFs and this will be screened on BBC One NI on the Home Ground programme in late September.

Details of the TDF farms, and how to book a visit are available here. At the moment CAFRE is taking group bookings only by emailing kt.admin@daera-ni.gov.uk.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union are funding the establishment of this network of Technology Demonstration Farms across Northern Ireland as part of the Rural Development Programme under the Innovation Technology Evaluation Demonstration (ITED) Scheme.

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