Social Farming Information Event in Borrisoleigh hosted by NTLP Nov. 24th

North Tipperary Leader Partnership is hosting an information morning on Social Farming in Borrisoleigh on Tuesday November 24th from 10am – 1pm.  Social Farming includes farm families opening their homes and farm to work placement for people with a disability or other health or social need, for which they receive a payment.

Social Farming creates opportunities for ordinary farm families and rural communities to play active roles as partners in supporting more marginalized people in society.  It offers choices to a wide range of people in providing the opportunity of engaging with farming and rural life. This may include the provision of training, developing new roles for people in the community, providing respite care on- farm; and supporting ‘the rural lifestyle experience’. The international ‘Social Farming’ experience includes support to people with a range of disability or mental health support needs, through people recovering from addiction  and ‘at risk’  youth.

The concept of social farming has evolved as a response to the choices of people who want to engage in the outdoor life and in rural community.  The health and social care sector in past decades provided elements of agriculture based activities on an ‘in house’ basis. People want ‘an ordinary life’ one with roles and a contribution within the community. For those who choose this within rural communities farmers and farm families are an established ‘natural support’ hub.  Of equal importance are the family, community, social and cultural roles that farm families play within their communities.  The combination of these roles describes a relationship which is both ‘social’ and ‘farming’.  A practicing social farmer describes the kitchen table and the Stanley range or ‘hearth’ as being of equal importance as the outdoor work.  The family farm, its connection to its past generations, its future vision and the changes each year brings are aspects which cannot be replicated in a service setting.

This concept has been piloted in recent years on 10 farms in Northern Ireland and 10 farms in the border counties of the Republic of Ireland.  This was through the Social Farming Across Borders Project (SoFAB) with funding from the European Regional Development Fund. The organisations involved in the delivery of the project Project were Leitrim Development Company, University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast.

The Social Farming Support Office has been established to continue the work of the Social Farming Across Borders Project with Helen Doherty and Brian Smyth providing advice and support for the development of Social Farming throughout Ireland.  They will facilitate the information morning on November 24th and a pilot farmer who has participated in the project will also speak about his experience.

The event details are as follows –

Date: Tuesday 24th November Time: 10am – 1pm

Venue: Borrisoleigh Community Centre, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary

To book: Complete the booking form online at or contact Caroline Shanahan, NTLP

on 087-7378724 for further information.

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