First round of Knowledge Transfer payments expected in June 2017 – Department

The first round of payments to Knowledge Transfer (KT) Groups are expected to commence in June 2017, Brendan Gleeson, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Agriculture has said.

Speaking at the recent Teagasc Better Beef Farm Conference in Tullamore, Gleeson said that KT groups are currently being rolled out across the country.

The Department representative said the KT group meetings are also set to start in June of this year.

Under the three year programme, farmers will receive an annual payment €750, along with the costs to cover the facilitator/advisor, who runs the group meetings.

Gleeson also said that in the region of 12,500 beef farmers have applied to take part in the discussion group scheme.

We know from previously nationally funded versions of this measure, that these groups are a tremendously effective way of imparting knowledge and expertise.

And as a result, he said the Rural Development Programme includes the provision of €100m for KT groups.

But, he said that if the Better Farm Programme is to have a real impact, the lessons learnt must be main streamed into advice and education, so that the benefits are felt right across the beef sector.

The measure of the success of this programme will not be how the individual participants involved fare, but how the lessons learned are transferred to farmers generally.

Requirements of the Knowledge Transfer Scheme

Farmers participating in the discussion groups are required to attend five knowledge exchange (group meetings) and/or four meetings plus one Department-approved national event.

Farmers must also complete a farm improvement plan in year one, in conjunction with their facilitator/advisor – this plan will continue to be updated in years two and three of the programme.

Participants are also required to draw up animal health measures in conjunction with an approved vet who has undergone Department training for the programme.