Agri Aware and Alltech have come together to run a joint initiative called the AgCredible Academy.
The programme, which will run over the next 12 months, will consist of a series of workshops and brings together over 50 prominent members of the farming community.
Participants will receive a monthly ‘toolbox’ that will help in creating content for their social media channels to promote positive, coherent and accurate messages about Irish farming and agri-food.
This programme will enable ambassadors to effectively communicate and promote Irish agriculture to the consumer and share the best stories possible to help bridge the gap between producers and consumers about how Irish food is produced.
“Both Agri Aware and Alltech are providing the necessary education to influential people from the agriculture community to enable them to share their positive everyday farming stories to the general public,” said Deirdre O’Shea, Agri Aware Executive Director.
“There are no better experts than the ones in this room who are the farmers. The message must come from individual farmers to make it credible.”
“It is our responsibility to educate people in Ireland with the truth about farming from every sector involved in agriculture,” added Cathal McCormack, Alltech Ireland Country Manager.
On Friday, February 7 Agri Aware and Alltech hosted the first AgCredible Academy workshop on animal welfare in Alltech, Dunboyne Co Meath. Over 50 AgCredible farmers gathered to listen and engage with speakers - legendary GAA broadcaster, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, communications expert, Gemma Smyth and well-known vet Tommy Heffernan (Tommy the Vet).
Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh spoke to participants about how the GAA helped bridge the urban and rural divide and how farmers must be empowered to do the same. Gemma Smyth informed the group about how best to deal with negative comments online and how to communicate agriculture’s message, while Tommy the vet spoke about the importance of being honest and factual when it comes to animal welfare.
Participants then took part in discussion groups where they talked about how they feel agriculture and farmers can enhance the communication of their message. Two more workshops will take place in the summer and autumn focused on environmental sustainability and human health.
Alltech and Agri Aware are both dedicated to the future of the agri-food sector. Producers and consumers have never been so disconnected about where their food comes from, and so, as an industry, it falls on us to be educators.
Agriculture has the power to solve some of our most challenging environmental problems. We can put carbon back in the soil and forests. We can recycle nutrients and keep them out of our rivers, lakes and oceans. We can generate renewable energy. And, together, we can build a more sustainable world.