Agri Aware unveils Open Farm Day plans ‘to open lines’ with consumers

Agri Aware has announced details of its inaugural ‘National Open Farm Day’ – a day designed to “open the lines of communication” between farmers and the consumers of their products.

The open day, organised by the Irish agri-educational body, will take place next month on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7.

This will be the first time in Ireland that farms from across the country will simultaneously open their gates to the public on one day to help educate consumers about what happens on a working farm and to encourage families to learn more about where our food comes from.

The countrywide event will involve farm walks, educational talks, cookery demonstrations and family activities – among other things.

The first year of the event will feature four mixed enterprise host farms in counties Cork, Mayo, Wicklow and Dublin.

On the day, each of the farms will open their gates to the public from 11:00am – 4:00pm and each location will offer its own individual programme of activities.

All of the host farms are full members of Bord Bia’s Quality Assurance scheme and its Origin Green programme – which ensure that they are farmers that adhere to the highest standards of quality, safety and traceability with exemplary sustainability measures in place.

Agri Aware’s National Open Farm Day 2018 host farmers are:
  • John and Ann Coughlan – dairy and beef farm in Ballyellis, Buttevant, Co. Cork;
  • Padraic and Breege Joyce – dairy farm in Islandeady, Castlebar, Co Mayo;
  • Tom and Geraldine Short – sheep and tillage farm at Kilmullen House, Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow;
  • Padraic and Brid McMahon – beef, sheep, turkey and tillage farm in Fieldstown West, Kilsallagh, Co Dublin.

Speaking at the announcement, Agri Aware chairman, Richard Moeran, said: “This national event aims to connect consumers directly with the primary producers of our food in a transparent and highly engaging way.

“The nationwide events will also allow people to experience what day-to-day life on a working farm involves and the measures farmers undertake to produce safe, quality food in a sustainable way,” the chairman added.

We hope to open the lines of communication between farmers and the consumers of their products and develop a greater understanding about how the food we eat everyday gets to our tables.

According to the organisers, Agri Aware National Open Farm Day aims to educate and inform the general public – particularly young people from urban areas – about all facets of farming and rural life from biodiversity, water quality, traceability, seasonal produce and to address the misperceptions around CAP policy.