National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

24 April 2013


Watching a bull sale and learning about single farm payments in Ireland were just two of the activities young farmers got up to on a recent study tour to Ireland, which was supported by Defra.

Thirty Young Farmers from clubs across England and Wales visited Macra Na Feirme (Ireland’s equivalent of YFC) in April to find out more about farming in Ireland.

Ireland’s ARAC Chairman and CEJA representative Eric Driver took the group on a tour that included two farms, a grain merchant and a live mart.

One of the farms on the tour was a partnership between a young farmer and an older farmer. The Fort Granite Farm in Wicklow was a perfect example of someone who had taken advantage of the new entrants’ scheme in Ireland and the young farmer told NFYFC members how he had secured money to go into business with an established farmer.

At a mixed beef farm in Co Carlo, members learnt about single farm payments and how to buy in finished beef, while a trip to the live mart gave them the chance to see a bull sale. They also got to visit grain merchant Connolly’s Red Mills who supply animal feed. They also test the food – including feed for race horses to ensure it doesn’t include any performance enhancing substances.

The CEO of Macra Na Feirme Edmond Connolly met the group on the first evening after they had visited one of Ireland’s oldest pubs, while Irish young farmers showed members the highlights of the Dublin nightlife on the second night.

Stuart Jakeman, South East Area Chairman from Kent YFC, joined the study group and said: “The study trip has been great and thought provoking. It was interesting to compare British enterprises to Irish enterprises. It was interesting to see the problems within Irish agriculture and the problems facing new entrants. It was also good to talk to members from Macra Na Feirme and Irish farmers about farming systems, machinery, business structure and single farm payments.”

Charlotte Harris from Gillingham and Shaftsbury YFC also went on the trip and said: “It was very informative and interesting to see how they farmed in Ireland. I met some great people and made some great friends – all from the same background so now I have contacts around the country.

“I am definitely going to encourage Dorset members to take any opportunity they are given, such as Dublin, as it was definitely a fantastic trip and very worthwhile.”


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