Liam O’Dowd who has been farming in partnership for over 10 years in Cork is one of a number of farmers farming in partnership setting up a new organisation called the Irish Farm Partnership Network (IFPN).

Speaking at the Teagasc National Collaborative farming conference this week he said: “It has become apparent to us that partnerships throughout the country should have a means of contacting one another and a forum for discussion.”

He noted: “With this in mind we have decided to from the IFPN. The aims of this network are to allow farmers working in partnership to get to know one another. To give an opportunity to discuss issues particular to partnerships. To provide observations and ideas to relevant bodies regarding future measures and policies.”

O’Dowd highlighted: “We would love to meet people thinking of farm partnerships as an option. We would be able to give them encouragement and the benefit of our experience. With the IFPN we can have a two way communication with all interested bodies to support partnerships.

“We also feel the IFPN would help farm partnerships bed down as part of the Irish agricultural structure. It will promote the idea of farm partnerships. Dispelling any misconceptions and highlighting the many positive aspects of the structure.”

O’Dowd commented: “The IFPN is being set up by farmers in partnership for Irish farm partnerships.”

Over the next few months it will be rolled out. Under current data protection it makes it difficult for a network such as this to start. We invite farmers who are interested to make contact with us.”

The website is set to go live in the next few days and contact details are available there.

He concluded: “We feel the time is right for such an organisation. It is not another farm organisation, he stressed. It is for people farming in partnership to meet and discuss issues relevant to the structure.”