Social Farming is the practice of offering activity on family farms as a form of social support service. In Social Farming the farm remains a working farm at its core but invites people to participate in the day to day activities of the farm.
Social Farming provides people who use services with the opportunity for improved social inclusion, increased self-esteem and improved health and well-being.
From the Farmers perspective, it provides an opportunity for income diversification and multi functionality on the farm. It also creates the opportunity to reconnect farmers with their local communities through the opening up of their farms as part of the social support system of the community.
The farm is not a specialised treatment farm; rather it remains a typical working farm where people in need of support can benefit from participation in farm activities in a non- clinical environment.
Social Farming is widely practiced in Europe and now Waterford LEADER Partnership with support from Leitrim Development Partnership and a local benefactor are driving the development of Social Farming in the South East of Ireland.
If you are interested in Social Farming, we are eager to hear from you. We would like to connect with farmers, health and social care organisations and representatives who are interested in developing social and health support services on farms.
We aim to support the development of Social Farming in the South East of Ireland including the areas of Carlow, East Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and South Tipperary.
Gillan McCarthy is WLPs’ Social Farming Development Officer and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or +353(58)58024.
Social Farming in County Waterford is being co-funded by Leitrim Development Company and by Tomar Trust.