Gate to Plate
Date du début: 31 déc. 2004,
Date de fin: 30 déc. 2007
The project will enable each farm business to develop a 10 year cattle breeding plan with emphasis on maternal traits to improve cattle quality in the region. The Project will improve the managment and managment capacity of the small business. The project will provide platforms for cross border exchanges and networks to develop exisiting and new opportunities. The project will interlink and integrate improved business management with good farming practice. Achievements: The Gate to Plate project in which 40 suckler cow farmers from the M.E.D. region (encompassing the waterways of the Melvin, Erne and Duff ) completed with participants confident that the project has delivered long term economic and social benefits for family farms along the border. The Gate to Plate project was born from a desire to improve the quality of the stock on the small suckler farms in the Border region of West Fermanagh, North Leitrim, South Donegal and North Sligo. The project provided capital grants over two years and the capital investment programme supported the purchase of improved female breeding stock and encouraged the use of Artificial Insemination and supported a capital investment programme which improved animal welfare, environmental enhancements, good farming practice, business competitiveness, food chain safety, health and safety.Additionally the project provided ‘on farm’ mentor support and technical assistance. Many participants have pointed out that one of the long term benefits which will ensure the sustainability of family farms has been the technical support and education in quality stock selection available through the project. Pat Johnston, who farms at Roscor, says” I think the technical advice available under the Gate to Plate project has helped me make ruthless decisions which have seen a significant improvement in my breeding stock. This has resulted in significantly better quality weanling stock for sale and definitely better prices for my weanlings. There is no doubt that this project has given me the confidence to invest in the future of my farm.” Further to the capital investment, the Gate to Plate project has also contributed to focusing the family farms on profitability, the benefits of improved suckler cow quality, the need for improved marketing techniques to help achieve maximum price in the market place and increased crossborderco-operation. The severe climatic conditions and geographic isolation of the region, which contributes to excessively long wintering periods, was identified as one of the major common cross-border problems which affected the profitability of farms in the area. Participants agreed that the network events have helped to develop relationships and explore common problems/solutions experienced by neighbouring farms in the border region. There is no doubt that the project has laid the foundations for enhancedcross-border co-operation among the farming community.
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