Minister launches ‘social farming’ scheme in Leitrim

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed is in Gortletteragh in Co Leitrim today to launch the Social Farming Network and Model Projects.

Social Farming is the practice of offering activity on family farms as a form of social support service.

People who can benefit from the experience include those who have physical or sensory disabilities, people recovering from mental health issues, or people who are unemployed, or left school early.

The farm remains a working farm at its core and the participants get involved with all the daily life and jobs on the farm.

The scheme has been working on some farms in the northwest over the past few years and Leitrim Development Company is leading the establishment of a nationwide network which will see more farms around the county getting involved.

UCD will also help in gathering data from the experiences of those providing and availing of social farming.

Brian Smyth, from Leitrim Development Company, says the schemes allow people to reconnect after having become excluded from society for whatever reason.