03 September 2019 09:00 » 05 September 2019 09:00

Innovations in Breeding Technologies in Beef Production

Study visits to locations in Wales and the midlands of England

Training and Skills

Applications are invited for this three day study tour to Great Britain (3rd-5th September 2019) focussing on how the latest breeding technologies impact on the profitability and management of beef farm businesses through better meeting market requirements.

To apply you must be 18 years of age or over at the time of application and not be in full-time education.   Applications are restricted to one member or employee of the farm business with at least 15 suckler cows.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is offering beef farmers the opportunity to travel to Great Britain to learn about innovative beef breeding technologies.  The study tour will visit centres in Wales and the midlands of England.  

This study tour is part of the Farm Innovation Visits Scheme which is being delivered by DAERA’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE). The tour will include visits to several progressive beef farms that are implementing these innovative breeding technologies to their commercial advantage. 

The areas of innovation studied will include:
• how breeding techniques such as synchronisation can aid artificial insemination.
• how technology can assist in the selection and management of bulls
• the use of sexed and hetero-spermic semen.
• progeny testing facilitated by electronic management systems.
• breeding for a specific market outlet.

The group will leave from Belfast International Airport on the morning of Tuesday  3rd of September and return on the morning of Thursday 5th September.  The tour will be led by CAFRE Advisers John Sands and Dominic Mason. 

Applications are invited from one member or employee of the farm business with at least 15 suckler cows, who is over 18 years old on the application closing date and not in full-time education. To increase the benefits arising from the study tour, all applicants must identify a group of farmers to share their findings with upon their return.  Sixteen places are available and these will be allocated on a competitive basis.

The Farm Innovation Visit Scheme, which is part of the NI Rural Development Programme and part funded by the EU, will cover the costs associated with setting up the visit, accommodation, travel outside of Northern Ireland, breakfast, lunch and evening meals when in Great Britain.  Participants will be expected to meet any additional costs, including farm relief and travel insurance.

Beef farmers who are interested in participating in this study tour can find out more details and complete an online application at:

Applications open on Thursday 25 July and close at 4.00pm on Thursday 8 August.