The View from Northern Ireland: The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE)’s Loughry Campus is holding a series of farm diversification awareness events for farmers.

Meet its farm diversifiers, Brian Cummings, Dungannon and Mervyn Kennedy, Omagh who have successfully completed one of CAFRE’s Diversification Challenge Programmes. Along with 100 other recipients they received Institute of Leadership and Management Certificates at a Diversification Challenge awards event, which took place recently at CAFRE’s Loughry Campus.

The programmes that they completed helped them to plan their new business ideas and take them to the next stage of implementation. With the help of their CAFRE mentors, they were able to test the financial and market viability of their business ideas. To date over 2,000 farm family members have taken part in this process through CAFRE’s Diversification Challenge programmes, which has resulted in around 400 new rural businesses adding valuable additional incomes streams to their family farms.

Would you like to follow in their footsteps? If so and you have a business idea you wish to develop, or simply investigate the potential for a farm diversification project, then come along to one of our Diversification Awareness Events and discover how you can turn your ideas into reality. You will hear how people have successfully started their own rural businesses and find out how the CAFRE Rural Enterprise Team can help you take the first step to a new business on your farm.

The next Diversification Awareness Events in the Tyrone/ Derry area will be held at the Diamond Centre, 630 Barnailt Road, Claudy, BT47 4EA on Wednesday 23 October 2013 at 8pm and at Derg Valley Care, 5/7 Parkview Road, Castlederg, BT81 7BN on Tuesday 5 November at 8pm.

To book a place at either of these free events, please contact Debbie Moore on 028 8775 4786, or email [email protected]

 By Debbie Moore, CAFRE

Celebrating success at the Diversification Awards Event at CAFRE, Loughry Campus are (L to R) Debbie Moore, CAFRE Rural Enterprise Adviser; Mr Noel Lavery, Permanent Secretary, DARD; Brian Cummings, Dungannon;  Maurice Patton, Newtownards and Mervyn Kennedy, Omagh.