Farm Sustainability Learning Hub Series in association with Bord Bia

Bord Bia offers free, online learning for Bord Bia farm scheme members through the Farm Sustainability Learning Hub.

In this article we look in more detail at the modules on farmland biodiversity, energy efficiency in agriculture, and the responsible use of antibiotics.

An introduction to Farmland Biodiversity

The course covers the basics of farmland biodiversity across three topics:

  • The importance of farmland biodiversity to agriculture;
  • How invasive alien species can affect farmland;
  • How farmers can enhance their farmland’s biodiversity using the four key pillars: retain; maintain; rejuvenate; and create.

At the end of the course, you can opt to evaluate the biodiversity on your own farm by downloading the Home Farm Improvement template. The next steps section at the end of the course, provides links to further resources to learn more about farmland biodiversity.

This module takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Energy efficiency in agriculture 

Developed by the SEAI, this module provides an introduction to energy use on the farm. The module aims to help farmers identify the key areas for energy efficiency and the activities that can be adopted to reduce energy use on farm.

Advice on energy efficiency is provided for beef and sheep; tillage; horticulture; dairying; and the pigs and poultry sectors of farming.

Responsible use of antibiotics

This module addresses the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This is a global problem, primarily for humans but one that also affects animals.

There are two main topics in this module. Topic one covers what AMR is, how it relates to antibiotic use on farms, and the global ‘One Health’ approach.

The second topic covers preventative measures that farmers can do in order to combat AMR. This includes the six Rs of disease treatment: right veterinary diagnosis; right animal; right veterinary medicine; right dose; right duration; right storage and disposal.

This module takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. On successful completion of this module, you’ll receive a certificate, which you can download.

How to enrol

Join the thousands of other farmers who have registered for the Farm Sustainability Learning Hub.

Step 1: Visit and click on Farm Sustainability Learning Hub.

You will be asked to enter your herd number and the pin number you received at your last audit. If you do not know this, there is a ‘forgot pin’ option that will text the pin to your mobile phone.

Step 2: You will be taken to the dashboard of the Farm Sustainability Learning Hub. This page will display the courses you have enrolled in and completed.

Step 3: You can choose which course to begin by clicking the green tab (click here to view courses) or the top left red tab to toggle from dashboard to catalogue. You’ll be shown the list of courses and can begin them immediately. You can exit and resume at any stages during the course and your progress will be saved (be sure to click ‘save and exit’ in the top right corner).

Next steps: Once you have completed each course you are invited to review and leave comments or recommendations. Your feedback is appreciated.

To begin your sustainability learning, click here.