Macra Agricultural Skillnet, established by Macra na Feirme, is one of the major networks serving our members, those involved in farming and a wide range of agri-services.

Our purpose is to drive upskilling and sustainability on all levels in the industry. We do this by developing and delivering a wide-ranging programme of training events, further education and development opportunities.

Horse Sport Ireland partnership

Macra Agricultural Skillnet recently partnered with Horse Sport Ireland to deliver a series of events. The first of which was a webinar on effective communication with Dr Nollaig Heffernan, a management consultant specialising in leadership and organisational psychology. This workshop provided participants with a model for effective communication to make essential but often uncomfortable interactions easier and more successful. There was a great turnout, with plenty of engagement.

The next event coming up is a sustainable farming and biodiversity farm tour of Kildangan Stud on 7 July. Kildangan Stud is the headquarters of Godolphin Ireland and has a long history of thoroughbred breeding and racing success.

At Kildangan, there is a sizeable herd of beef cattle grazing the lush pastures alongside the horses, and acreage is devoted to making the stud self-sufficient in hay.

In recent years, the company has initiated a range of environmental diversity and sustainability projects. These include a pollinator programme, with beehives located throughout the property and rewilding of grass areas using native wildflower seedings.

Professional hoofcare

EKO Hoofcare provides a professional hoofcare course which is supported by Macra Agricultural Skillnet. This course is for farmers who wish to upskill or take up a career in hoof trimming, with both theory and practical-based elements. It runs for four days in total.

It covers topics including the cost of lameness and how to prevent and treat it, mobility scoring, the hoof trimming five-step Dutch method and the dos and don’ts of foot bathing.

Hoofcare is an important skill for farmers to have in order to prevent mobility issues in the herd. Engaging in preventive practices can play a big part in controlling lameness.

Business brush-up and strategic management

Lynaire Ryan, an agribusiness consultant from New Zealand, will be back again to deliver the popular Business Brush-up seminar to dairy farmers in autumn 2022. Lynaire has been involved in developing and facilitating seminars for dairy farm business owners in both New Zealand and Ireland since 1997.

These focus on business, financial and strategic planning training. Farm business owners are welcome to attend one or both seminars in autumn 2022 and, where relevant, spouses are encouraged to attend the strategic management seminar.

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