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About Us

Northern Ireland farmer-led innovation

The Growing Innovation Network is an Ashden Trust funded project, delivered by the Food Farming & Countryside Commission through a team of grassroots farmers in Northern Ireland. The team is made up of Jim McAdam, Michael Meharg, Sam Millar, Helen Keys, William Frazer and Bronagh O'Kane, all rooted in the Northern Ireland farming community.


Mission: Inspiring innovation in Northern Ireland farming from the grassroots up through a shared, inclusive and accessible farmer-led network for inspiration, information and collaboration. Learning from and empowering each other with confidence to explore new enterprises/approaches to tackle the food, climate, nature and health crises facing society.


To be developed by farmers for farmers, creating a culture of trust, unity and positive action across the farming industry of Northern Ireland. Learning from the best of farmer-to-farmer learning networks from elsewhere and existing networks within Northern Ireland to create a shared network for collaboration and discussion that is greater than the sum of its parts.


Initial priorities:

  • The improvement of soil health across the farmed landscape

  • The adoption of more resilient grassland management and livestock grazing systems

  • Incorporating traditional methods of fertility building and circular systems back into farming practice and coupled with latest knowledge and technology building up a landscape of modern mixed farming

  • Incorporating trees into productive farming systems through agroforestry

  • Diversifying the Northern Ireland production base through the expansion of cereal, fibre and horticultural crop production

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