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Tipperary developing ‘farm fit’ businesses with NTLP

Caroline Shanahan of NTLP with guests speakers at Farm Fit  Graham Kenny, Heather Pollard, Pat Bogue, Tom Pollard, Maura Canning.

Caroline Shanahan of NTLP with guests speakers at Farm Fit  Graham Kenny, Heather Pollard, Pat Bogue, Tom Pollard, Maura Canning.

Over 50 people attended last week’s Farm Fit programme in Kilcommon, organised by North Tipperary LEADER Partnership to help local people explore new enterprise and employment opportunities.

Generating extra income on the farm and finding new ways to do it are key goals for smallholders, the Farm Fit event brought together experts and farm entrepreneurs. Dr. Pat Bogue of Broadmore Research gave an overview of Farm Diversification in Ireland. Graham Kenny of Fairymount Farm, Ballingarry, described his farm business: a mix of traditional farming and new tourist attractions, most recently a Downhill Mountain Biking course. Hanna Van Aelst of Barnabaun Basketry, Killoscully, described her willow basket making business and how she grows and harvests her own willow. Ben Colchester from Drumeen Organic Farm, Urlingford outlined the array of projects he hosts on his farm ranging from beef to honey and rapeseed oil. Tom and Heather Pollard from Killenaule outlined their new tourism project, Caravantasia - a ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping) experience. The IFA’s Maura Canning reminded the group to Stay Fit for farming and to mind their physical and mental health. NTLP’s employment officer Caroline Shanahan was delighted with the turnout on the day: “We will build on this work in 2014 in order to assist as many as possible to find a business ‘fit’ for their farm.”

 
 
 

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