The Irish Newbie competition has opened for entries from successful new entrants to farming. New entrants include those who are newcomers to agriculture, those changing enterprise, those diversifying and successors on existing farms. The overall winner will receive a monetary prize and a plaque, as well as development of a YouTube video and extensive exposure through the media and social media.
The competition will be run online and entries can be made at https://www.teagasc.ie/rural-economy/farm-management/collaborative-farming/new-entrant-network—newbie/. This will be followed by a shortlisting process with shortlisted entries visited by the judging panel to assess the farm business in detail and adjudicate on the overall winner. Shortlisted entries will also benefit from the visit and the feedback provided by the judges.
The competition is a key component of the NEWBIE project and a great opportunity to showcase successful new entrant business models. The winning story and associated video has the potential to inspire and inform potential new entrants.
This is the second of three competitions to be run in Ireland. In 2019 new entrant snail farmer Steven Ryan was the overall winner. Steven looked at many options to secure the future of his beef and sheep farm before settling on snail farming. Snail farming offered a good income from a relatively small land area and the labour required fitted around the busy periods in the other enterprises. https://www.teagasc.ie/news–events/news/2020/steven-ryan-snail-farmer-.php
Another key component of the NEWBIE project is the ten case studies compiled by all partners. These are interesting innovative new entrants who have overcome the common barriers faced by many new entrants. The case studies are from a range of backgrounds, enterprises and locations.
One such case study is that of Catherine and Jim Power who run Glen Keen Farm in Co Mayo. Faced with low incomes from the hill sheep enterprise the Power family diversified into the Agri-tourism sector, securing the future of the farm.