Established in 2021, the Beacon Farm Network is AgriSearch’s new flagship project to build a structured, intentional and semi-permanent farm network in Northern Ireland. The Network aims to gather evidence for research into sustainable livestock farming systems that deliver for people, planet and profit. The network currently consists of farms from across the province, covering the full range of ruminant farming systems.

Forming a key part of AgriSearch’s new strategy, over the 5-year term of the project, farmers within the Beacon Farm Network will benchmark carbon sequestration on-farm, quantify the benefit of ecosystem services delivered by farmers, and encourage the development of innovative, resilient and sustainable farm systems. It will also provide the platform from which a range of other research projects and initiatives – a targeted approach.

It is the intention that this network of commercial farms will act as a beacon for the industry; by showcasing the latest innovations and activities that deliver for both farm businesses and the environment, the Beacon farms will help drive the necessary cultural change required on farms across Northern Ireland. 

In addition, the range of information and data gathered across the network will better inform industry relevant research questions which will in turn direct policy discussion and ensure the sector can positively communicate the wider associated benefits of agriculture and land management.