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Equine knowledge transfer programme gets underway

Owners of equine-registered premises are being encouraged to register their name for the Knowledge Transfer programme which is expected to get underway in the coming months.

Launched earlier this year by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney as part of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, the scheme will see funding of €100m divided amongst 27,000 participating farmers over a three-year period.

The inclusion of equine groups in the Knowledge Transfer programme presents a fantastic opportunity for breeders to share information and improve their enterprise. This programme could provide a significant step forward in supporting the industry with the potential to make a real difference in the sector.

The objectives of the programme are to assist the development and transfer of knowledge on key aspects of enterprises' including profitability, breeding and animal health measures in relation to sport horse production, in addition to raising awareness of issues relating to Health and Safety and Farm Progression.

The programme focuses on:

 Profitability and financial Management

Grassland management and sustainability

 Animal health measures

 Farm health and safety

Farm progression planning

The programme will pay participants €750 per year over three years. Particpants must be over 18 and hold an equine registered premises. They must also own a minimum of two broodmares aged between two and a half and 20 years of age for the breeding of sport horses that are registered in their own name for the period of the programme in an EU approved studbook

Participants must present their nominated mares for inspection carried out by an appropriate EU-approved studbook before the end of Year 1. Participants must also complete the Farm Improvement Programme using the HSI on-line KT Equine system and ensure that data is registered throughout the programme as required.

They must also attend a minimum of five meetings per year, or at least four meetings and no more than one Department-accredited national event. Equine participants cannot partake in dairy, beef, sheep or any other groups. Participants must complete a Farm Enterprise Improvement Plan with his/her DAFM approved Knowledge Transfer facilitator. For further information, contact Teagasc Equine Specialists Declan Mc Ardle on 087 6831876 or Wendy Conlon on 087 9879083

Indo Farming