5 May 2020

 

Farming Connect is providing a series of short, informative twice-weekly online webinars – online group seminars or meetings - on a wide range of topical agricultural subjects as part of its ‘digital delivery’ provision, arranged in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Alongside a hugely popular podcast ‘Ear to the Ground’, which is attracting over 1,000 listeners a month and confidential one-to-one telephone or digital surgeries, Farming Connect’s new online webinar schedule is now an important part of the support package which will keep the industry informed and in touch at this challenging time. 

This newest resource will ensure that eligible farmers and foresters, registered with Farming Connect, can receive up to date information and guidance from the safety of their homes, while adhering to the government guidelines currently in place. Each seminar will focus on a specific topical issue that most farmers will be dealing with day to day. Led by some of the industry’s leading technical experts, who are currently unable to deliver face-to-face knowledge transfer meetings, each of them will give a specially produced talk and presentation on their particular area of expertise. 

Provided every Tuesday evening at 8pm, and every Thursday evening at 8.15pm, each seminar will last up to approximately one hour, and include time for the lead expert to answer a few online typed questions at the end.

The first pilot webinar was led by Eurion Thomas, UK operations manager for Techion, an internationally recognised New Zealand based company which specialises in parasite diagnostics and training. Trialled with a small number of sheep farmers, they learned how best to target parasites in the right animals at the right time, using the most appropriate product. The recorded version is now available to view on the Farming Connect website.  
 
“Parasites in lambs are a critical issue for all sheep farmers at this time of year, and what all the participants learned was that if they don’t do things correctly, this can have a huge impact on the performance of the flock and profitability.  

“The digital format resulted in very positive feedback, as each expert can present the most relevant information in a concise way, rather than trying to cover the whole subject in a single, more intensive face to face presentation which would usually last a lot longer,” said Mr. Thomas.

Gregg Bookham, a Carmarthenshire sheep farmer, found his first webinar easy to access from his home computer, saying he found it very informative and an excellent way of keeping up to date with best practice despite the current restrictions. 

“Although this isn’t a format I’m used to, it is a necessary and helpful way of delivering content to a wide audience and I will definitely be joining more sessions.”  

Forthcoming webinars already scheduled cover a diverse range of topics ranging from grazing management, producing quality silage and weed control to specific animal health topics for sheep, cattle, pigs and more.   

Visit the Farming Connect Webinars page to see the complete list of webinars, dates and topics. You can book your place either online or by calling the Service Centre on 08456 000 813 before 3pm on the day of your selected webinar. You will then receive both an email and text message with the necessary weblink which gives you access to participate.  

Every webinar will be recorded and uploaded to the Farming Connect website, so if you miss a topic of interest, catch up online in your own time. 

Anyone not used to accessing the wide range of online platforms which can be used to host online meetings, will shortly be able to view Farming Connect’s video ‘How to meet up online’ video, which gives useful advice and tips, or apply for a two-hour telephone consultation with an ICT expert through Farming Connect’s fully funded ICT training programme. Visit the website for further information.

Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. 


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