The National Organic Training Skillnet (NOTS) welcomed Minister Pippa Hackett to open its fifth annual Biological Farming Conference – BioFarm 2022 yesterday (Monday 7th November 2022).
The core focus of the event is on biological and regenerative farming. Each day a different theme will be covered, and the speakers will explore several key issues facing the farming sector, including climate change, carbon sequestration, rising input costs, and farm profitability.
Over 25 renowned Irish and international speakers will present to delegates, including experts from Australia, the USA and the UK this week at the conference.
The conference is taking place until Friday this week in The Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, with both virtual and in-person ticket options available.
Key event to keep up to date on latest developments in sector
Speaking at the launch Pippa Hackett, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine commented: “I am delighted to see the fifth year of the BioFarm conference taking place with a significant contribution from experts on critical areas including soil health, regenerative farming, and many other topics. The hosting and organisation of BioFarm by National Organic Training Skillnet is a key event for those in the sector to keep up to date on the latest developments and innovations in this constantly evolving and challenging time for farming. As an organic farmer myself I know the value of keeping up with latest developments and the critical role shared information plays to help us all farm in the best way possible. I look forward to not only contributing to the conference but learning from others attending too.”
The hybrid event is featuring live-streamed presentations from leading industry experts, roundtable panel discussions, and interactive question and answer sessions where participants can engage directly with the speakers.
Developing the talent and expertise needed by the agri-food sector
Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland said: “Ireland’s organic and regenerative farming sectors are growing significantly and BioFarm 2022 examines innovative ways businesses can navigate the immediate challenges facing the industry.”
“Skillnet Ireland play a pivotal role in developing the talent and expertise needed by the agri-food sector in meeting the targets of the Government’s Climate Action Plan.”
“We provide upskilling programmes to over 2,200 companies within the agri-food sector each year and look forward to working with the National Organic Training Skillnet and industry leaders as we develop more initiatives in the future,” added Paul Healy.
The conference combines scientific and academic thinking with real-life farm practitioners here in Ireland.
Irish dairy farmer James Foley will be speaking on Thursday, showcasing the breadth of knowledge from the science-based innovation, to farmers who are practicing these methods on the ground here in Ireland.
“BioFarm is an opportunity for science to meet practical farming to understand how working with soil health can reduce input costs while increasing incomes for both organic and non-organic farmers,” said Sean McGloin, Network Manager at the National Organic Training Skillnet.
Commenting on this year’s conference, Sean McGloin said: “We are packing all five days with quality speakers from both the academic fields as well as working farmers from Ireland and further afield, and we will cover as many aspects of biological, regenerative, and organic farming as we can. We see these practices as central to the future of farming in Ireland, and hopefully we can inspire farmers in Ireland to get on board with these methods. Everything is on the table in agriculture at the moment, especially from a climate change mitigation standpoint. The experts, academics, and farmers at BioFarm 2022 are at the forefront of this thinking.”