Advisory experts put diverse agriculture in spotlight

Advisory and education professionals from all over Europe will be in Limerick next month for a conference on the provision of innovation support for a diverse agriculture.

Teagasc is hosting the IALB/EUFRAS conference at the University of Limerick campus from June 19 to 22.

The conference will address important issues like the European Innovation Partnership, the context and changing roles of advisors and consultants, rural development challenges, and some perspectives on the recent Teagasc technology foresight report.

The conference will have a strong Irish flavour with speakers giving insights into how farmers and rural professionals here are dealing with today’s challenges. Delegates from other countries will also share their knowledge and expertise.

New tools, services, and research, relevant to advisors, will be highlighted.

Excursions will allow delegates to see real examples of how Irish agriculture, in different sectors, is responding to opportunities and challenges.

Workshops will also be a feature of the conference, which has a number of sponsors, particularly Dairymaster and Fáilte Ireland.

Dr Tom Kelly, Teagasc, is chairman of EUFRAS — the European Forum for Rural and Agricultural Advisory Services — which has 30 member organisations in 20 countries.

He said that the conference comes at a time when the role of rural advisors in innovation support is becoming more valued and appreciated, globally and at European level.

“It is a great opportunity to share ideas, discuss issues, and make valuable contacts. It’s open to all and will be most relevant to agricultural advisors and those involved in supporting the development of agriculture,” he said.

Ulrich Ryser, president of IALB, which consists of over 500 private members, mostly from Austria, Switzerland, Poland, and Germany, said advisors have to look beyond the regional and organisational borders to learn and this will help them become more effective.


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