Registration closes soon for free 11-week programme for farm families which begins March 15

Practical tips and information about the impact CAP reform will have on farm family practices and incomes will be shared at the flexible, free 11-week pilot programme for farmers in the South East and Midlands region which begins on Tuesday next, March 15.

Registration remains open and a limited number of places are still available on the landmark programme which sees Teagasc, the IFA, ICMSA, Macra na Feirme and more team up with Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) for the initiative.

While the programme is free, interested parties must register first by contacting Conor Cleere at Kilkenny LEADER Partnership at  0567752111 or The programme will also help farm families improve their traditional and digital skills, learn about alternative farm futures, care for their general health and mental wellbeing and so much more.

Any farm family in the Leinster and Southeast area is eligible to sign up for the Farming 360programme. Over the course of the 11-week, flexible and blended course, participants will hone practical skills like health and safety, dry stone walling, hedgerow laying and maintenance and ICT skills from trusted experts in the agricultural and education sectors.

The in-depth programme also much-needed time to de-stress and unwind with some fun adventure pursuits at the course venue, Castlecomer Discovery Park.  It’s all being offered on a pilot basis in collaboration with IT Carlow, Trinity College Dublin, Mental Health Ireland and Forestry Services Ltd. If successful, the pilot initiative could be rolled out nation-wide.

The far-reaching programme is designed to give a 360 view of farming today and address some of the demands that are placed on farm families. WhileFarming 360 features a blend of practical skills, training and information, it also focuses on Health & Safety Practices as well as modules in health and wellbeing.

Given the time constraints involved in modern family life, participants are only asked to attend for a maximum of one day a week over the 11 weeks. The initial pilot programme for the first group starts on Tuesday next, March 15.

John Keane, National President, Macra na Feirne, said: “As farmers and rural people engaging proactively in our wellbeing and overall health is something we need to constantly improve and work on. This programme affords the opportunity for farmers to be in a setting which is all inclusive and address challenges in an open and friendly way while facilitating discussions with like-minded people.”

Richard O’Brien, Teagasc Regional Manager for Waterford/Kilkenny, said: “Teagasc understands the continuing pressures and anxieties that are experienced among the farming community. This can be seen through the day to day interaction between advisors and clients, and particularly during the series of lockdowns during the Covid pandemic.

“We welcome the opportunity for farmers to engage in the Farmer 360 programme, where they can experience the fantastic amenities available in the Castlecomer Discovery Park, re engage with traditional skills and be part of information sessions that will highlight the many changes that will occur in farming over the next decade and beyond.”

Declan Rice, CEO,  Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, said: “We’re conscious that family farms are busy places with lots of demands on a farmer’s time and skills. This programme has been designed to help farm families by bringing them together, sharing information and experiences in a supportive learning environment while also getting them to enjoy some quality time off farm. It’s something we’ve all missed over the course of the pandemic and has made farms even more isolating places to live and work at times.

“Working with our partners, we want to give participants a 360 vision of the farming sector and industry not just in Ireland but in Europe. Places on each programme are limited and we would encourage any farm family interested in participating to book their place now.”

  • To sign up, contract Conor Cleere at Kilkenny LEADER Partnership at  0567752111 or 0868165700 or