Sustaining a cohort of new entrants is crucial for the agricultural sector and rural regions in Europe. New entrants bring innovation and entrepreneurialism, as well as practical skills and networks. However, new entrants face considerable challenges in entering the sector. The Newbie network addresses the challenge of enabling new entrants to successfully establish sustainable farm businesses in Europe.
The Teagasc, NEWBIE new entrant to Agriculture competition aims to highlight the innovation and entrepreneurialism in the agriculture sector and is now open for entries. The competition is open to newcomers to farming, successors and farmers who have diversified their enterprise.
The Teagasc Newbie new entrant to agriculture competition is a great opportunity for successful new entrants to gain recognition of their work and to promote their business. The prize includes a €1,000 cash prize kindly sponsored by Allied Irish Bank and a mentoring programme to the value of €1,000 kindly provided by Enterprise Ireland, a plaque for display on-farm and the development of a video featuring the winning farmer. For further information and to enter please go to www.teagasc.ie/newbiecomp
Donal Whelton, Head of Agri AIB commented: “AIB is delighted to partner with Teagasc and other key industry partners to support this initiative. New entrants are crucial for the sustainable development of any sector, but it has never been more important for Agriculture given the challenges we face in the months and years ahead. We in AIB remain committed to supporting sustainable business start-ups and our Business Advisor team in each of our 170 branches nationally are only too happy to discuss what options are available and how we can support you along the way”.
Gordon Peppard, Collaborative Farming Specialist, Teagasc, said; ”The NEWBIE new entrant to agriculture competition is an excellent platform to acknowledge and appreciate the importance of new agricultural business’s and an opportunity for new entrants to showcase their business success to date and the subsequent publicity will be hugely advantageous in promoting their products into the future. We like to thank all the stakeholders involved for their input and to AIB and Enterprise Ireland for their sponsorship of the prizes.”
The Newbie Network is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project with 10 European partners. Newbie offers a unique platform by bringing together new entrants, successors, advisors, researchers, important regional and national actors and relevant stakeholders in national networks, with the aim of enabling new entrants to successfully establish a sustainable farm business in Europe.
New entrants are defined in the Newbie network as anyone who starts a new farm business, or becomes involved in an existing farm business at any stage of their lives. New entrants across sectors and regions face common barriers such as; access to land, capital, knowledge and labour. The Newbie Network will identify and highlight new business models that overcome some of the barriers faced by new-entrants through 90 case studies and a video library available to new entrants across Europe. These will be shared through a range of European and national activities including; national discussion circles, videos and bilateral exchanges.
Cucumber Growers, Welgro Produce located in Rush Co Dublin was selected as the winner of the third Irish Newbie new entrant competition. Welgro established by Shane Halpin, Sean Weldon and Gary Weldon is one of only two commercial cucumber growers in Ireland. The local trio identified an opportunity to develop a business utilising glasshouses that had been unused since the owner’s retirement. They now tend to over twenty thousand cucumber plants in glasshouses that span over three acres.
Shane who has a background in horticulture and mechanics, Sean with an accounting and processing background and Gary who has an agricultural degree share the management responsibilities. The company employing up to 15 people at peak times in the areas of grading/picking, packing and distribution.
Read more about Welgro Produce and other winners at www.teagasc.ie/newbie