How to become an advisor for new discussion groups

The Knowledge Transfer measure under the Rural Development Programme was recently launched by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

Under the programme, advisors can earn €500 per farmer in their Knowledge Transfer Group.

The Scheme hopes to take in 27,000 farmers and its design has been guided by experiences from previous Dairy Advisory Schemes and Beef and Sheep Discussion Groups and following extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.

How advisors register interest

The Department of Agriculture sought expressions of interest from qualified advisors just recently.

Advisors require NFQ (FETAC) Level 8 (Ag Science/Equine Science or Equivalent) and Indemnity Insurance.

There will be an expression of interest facility whereby advisors can apply for approval to run groups when DAFM announce their commencement.

Once approved by DAFM, advisors can apply to run groups once a tranche is opened. The initial request for expressions of interest opened on April 30 and applications can be submitted until May 22, 2015. Further calls will issue in due course.

Advisors can register their interest in participation in the Knowledge Transfer Programme using the following link:

https://publicapps.agriculture.gov.ie/ata/kt/welcome.jspx

How advisors apply

Department of Agriculture approved advisors can apply for a maximum of five groups across all sectors.

In the event that the number of applications received exceeds the funding available applications will be ranked and selected based on the following eligibility criteria, information on which will be provided by individual advisors.

Criteria

  • Possession of greater than NFQ (FETAC) Level 8 in a relevant discipline. This will be specific to individual advisors.
  • Providing additional expertise, such as a veterinary practitioner, agronomist or accountant, at one of the knowledge exchange meetings. When applying for approval the advisor will indicate whether or not he will provide such additional expertise.
  • Undertake to hold a specific meeting on Farm Progression Planning. Again when applying for approval the advisor will indicate whether or not he will facilitate such a meeting.
  • Willingness to include 10% or greater of new entrants who did not participate in previous Department funded discussion group initiatives. Again when applying the advisor is required to indicate whether he will undertake to include new entrants. This provides the opportunity to encourage some new farmers to engage with the advisory service while not eliminating existing groups from funding.

Approval will issue in writing to successful advisors.

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