You will find it helpful to get as much advice as possible as you develop your plans to diversify your farm. Specialist advice on diversifying is available in Northern Ireland from farming experts:
- The Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA) advisers can offer advice on your rural business idea, sources of finance and how to manage the transition from traditional farm to rural enterprise. DAERA's organic experts can advise on all aspects of switching from traditional to organic production. Find more DAERA information about organic production.
- The Ulster Farmers' Union has over 12,500 local members and represents the wide range of interests of farmers. Find out about the Ulster Farmers' Union.
You might need to supplement your existing skills with some additional training:
- The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise who offer a wide range of full time and part time agricultural, horticultural, environmental conservation, equine and food courses. Find farm course information.
- Greenmount Organic Unit can offer local farmers advice on a range of farming systems, technologies and techniques.
Advice and support towards setting up your business can be found from a number of organisations and may be available from:
- Advantage NI helps 16-30 year olds to start and develop their own businesses and runs an annual national competition for new business start-ups. Find Advantage NI business advice.
- The Rural Youth Entrepreneurship (RYE) Connect programme provides workshops, interactive online resources and transnational business opportunities for 16-30 year olds in rural areas. Pre start-up, start-up, growth and reboot. Find out more about RYE Connect or contact RDC on 028 8676 6980 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also need specialist advice, such as help with legal issues or managing finances - see choose and work with a solicitor.