The Smart Farming Programme Leader has expressed his delight following Smart Farming’s receipt of the inaugural Talamh Agri-Innovation Award at the RDS Spring Awards.

Speaking after the awards ceremony held yesterday, Wednesday, April 24, Thomas Cooney said: “Each year farmers participate in this voluntary resource-efficiency programme and openly share learnings with their neighbours.”

Continuing, the chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Environmental Committee and leader of the programme explained: “The ambition of the programme is to reduce farm costs while enhancing the rural environment.

It’s great to see the programme grow and develop, with increasing interest from farmers.

In 2018, participating farmers identified ways to reduce their costs by over €7,000 and their climate impact by 9%.

“This proactive engagement by farmers is what climate action at grass-roots really looks like.

“I am delighted for the hundreds of farm families that have participated in the programme [whose] hard work has been recognised at the RDS Spring Awards.”

Cooney also acknowledged the work of the IFA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in developing the programme.

He concluded by commending the “extensive knowledge and technical assistance” provided by other bodies such as: Teagasc; UCD; the National Federation of Group Water Schemes; the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland; the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association; the Fertiliser Association of Ireland; and the Irish Grassland Association.