Local Farmers Sign Up To New BDG Programme

Farmers are being encouraged to participate in a new scheme designed to help local people share their knowledge with others within the industry.

Managed by the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise, the Business Development Groups scheme is funded through the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and uses a group approach to improve the technical efficiency of farm businesses.

The initiative is the first programme to be given approval and has been open for applications since Monday November 9 2015. It will close on Monday December 14 at 4pm.

Among those to sign up for the new Business Development Group (BDG) Programme are Omagh brothers Matthew and James Alcorn.

Matthew and James are currently members of the Omagh Dairying Development Group, facilitated by local CAFRE dairy adviser Jane Sayers.

Matthew maintains that the group has, in the past, provided the opportunity to visit other dairy farms and to learn about any new technologies being used on the farm.

“It is great to meet other like minded dairy farmers”, says James “and to see firsthand how they are improving efficiency of their business.”

Likewise, Tyrone farmer James Lowe, who manages a 110 hectare dairy farm at Mullaghmoyle, on the outskirts of Coalisland, has spoken of the benefits of the programme. James milks 170 Holstein Friesian cows with calves, either reared as replacement heifers, or brought through to beef and marketed through Dunbia in Dungannon. Milk is
sold to LacPatrick Co-op.

He currently participates in the CAFRE dairy benchmarking programme and has benefited both from the Farm Nutrient Management Scheme and the Farm Modernisation Scheme in the past.

James’ two older sons, Frank and James Og are both interested in farming so he hopes they might benefit from participation in the BDG Programme.

“In tough economic times such as the present,” said James, “It is also a good opportunity to be able to talk with others and share everyday concerns.”

For further information, see cafre.ac.uk or contact (028) 9442 6770 or developmentserOmaghvice.admin@dardni.gov.uk.

Source: ulsterherald.com