It was a cold January morning as a small group of farmers gathered in Anna and Oliver Dixon’s snug kitchen in the townland of Ahena, near Claremorris in Co Mayo. The purpose of the gathering was to chat about how farming and their communities have changed in the past 10 years and what they think might happen in the future.

The group included a large-scale dairy farmer, an organic vegetable producer, an equestrian centre owner and suckler farmer, and an organic beef and lamb farmer. What made the group unusual is that they are all involved in social farming.