The first steering group meetings of the Teagasc Signpost Programme kicked off on Wednesday 28 July, chaired by former Macra na Feirme president and dairy farmer Thomas Duffy.

The programme aims to support farmers in leading the charge on climate action and in their transition towards more sustainable farming systems.

Teagasc’s Dr Tom O’Dwyer, who is head of the programme, presented an overview to attendees, while Teagasc director Gerry Boyle expressed his hope that the programme would foster innovation as “we really need to harness the innovation of the sector given the scale of the challenge”.

Boyle also pointed out the urgency of the situation facing agriculture given the recent publication of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill.

Some 100 farmers and 50 companies and organisations, including the Department of Agriculture, Meat Industry Ireland, Dairy Industry Ireland, Bord Bia, the Environmental Protection Agency and a number of co-ops are involved in the programme.

Due to COVID-19 the meeting was in person but physically distanced, with an initial meeting of representatives of just 11 of the organisations and two farmers. the meeting was held in Oak Park, Carlow.