ON Wednesday, November 29th, the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen is opening its doors to the farming community. They have invited a number of key experts to come and talk about the technologies that they are using or developing and to share their stories about how these technologies are being applied on farms today.
‘Being part of the wider Skibbereen and West Cork community has always been important to the Ludgate Hub,’ said chief executive Adrienne Harrington, ‘And, as part of that, we try to provide opportunities to talk about new technologies and the impact that these can have on our lives. These impacts have already proven to be significant in both our personal and business lives.
On Wednesday 29th, they will look at three emerging areas of interest for farmers: The first of these is the bioeconomy which is a key issue for Ireland at the moment, with the Government having just completed a consultation process on this area in the past few weeks,
The consultation document tells us that developing Ireland’s bioeconomy will help reduce carbon emissions, create high-skilled jobs and contribute to global food security. It also presents us with an opportunity for indigenous economic development, exports and job creation, which is an important issue for us in West Cork, while at the same time, reducing our dependency on natural resources and imported materials.
The people at Ludgate have invited experts in this area to give us their views. James Gaffey from Agri for Valor is a bio-refinery specialist and will talk about the bioeconomy and opportunities for rural Ireland; James Browne from Gas Networks Ireland will also speak in this session and the potential use of anaerobic digestion in West Cork.
We tend to think that new technologies will improve the bottom line in farming. In the second session, Laurence Shalloo from Teagasc will look at this question in detail.
Attendees also hear from Justine Deming, a young researcher who is working with farmers, looking at farm efficiency and hear from one of those farmers, Laurence Sexton from Kilbrittain.
The final session for the day will look at the future of farming – how will technology shape how farms operate? Dr Bernadette O’Brien from Teagasc will look at the use of technology in grassland management; Albert Baker, CEO of Danalto, will also look at the role of sensors in farming and Dermot Curtin from Carbery will talk about how their use of LEAN principles there have improved efficiency.
Drinagh Co-Op and the AIB will show how the use of their apps can take some of the pain out of everyday activities.
‘Our aim on the day is to have a balance of those developing the technology and those using the technology, and taking a very real look at the potential to improve farming lives,’ said Adrienne Harrington. ‘Lunch will be provided and those attending can have a tour of Ludgate and meet some of the people at the Hub.’
• Tickets can be booked through their website www.ludgate.ie