Young Beef Farmer Sustainability Programme


      Macra Skillnet                   Dawn Meats

The Young Beef Farmer Sustainability Programme is an exciting development programme for young beef farmers in partnership with Dawn Meats and Macra na Feirme's Young Farmer Skillnet. Young Beef farmers that participate on the YBFSP will gain fantastic insights into profitability, sustainability and efficiency improvement on their own farms and an understanding of the beef industry from farm to fork.


The Young Beef Farmer Sustainability Programme instils the confidence in our young beef farmers members to undertake on-farm projects that add value to your beef farming enterprise. 


The Young Beef Farmer Sustainability Programme application process has commenced. There are limited places available for participating young beef farmers. Completed applications must be submitted before midnight on Sunday,  3rd September 2017. Demand for the programme is very high and early applications are encouraged.  The successful participants will be announced at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly in September. 


Download the Young Beef Farmer Sustainability Programme brochure in PDF format.

Apply Now

The programme will encourage young beef farmers to:

  • Analyse and evaluate their own business and to make choices for future growth and efficiency
  • Understand the customer requirements in the retail marketplace and how as beef producers you can meet those requirements
  • Identify practices on individual farms that can enhance sustainability and profitability 
  • Share and communicate the knowledge gained from the programme with other young beef farmers
  • Understand your own communication style when dealing with people - from farm staff, contractors or the bank manager


Apply Now


The programme comprises of 16 modules undertaken at regular intervals (approx 2 per month) from September 2017 to March 2018, with a break for spring calving. The module dates (while subject to change) are as follows:



National Ploughing Championships 


20th September

11am- 1pm

Event at Macra na Feirme stand at National Ploughing Championships to announce the programme participants and give them an introduction to the programme.

Beef Factory Tour followed by Media Training

Late September

9am- 5pm

Live 2 Dead Tour in a Dawn Meats Plant to understand the processing business and receive briefing from Dawn Meats personnel on their business and the requirements of their customers. Media Training so as that young beef farmer participants can communicate the key messages from on the programme to followers and media.
Teagasc Better Farm Challenge Programme 


7th October

10.30am - 5.30pm


Farm walks on some of the top performing Beef farmers involved in the Teagasc Better Farm Programme. Engagement with Better Farms programme Participant / participants on the key drivers of profitability.
Visit to Dawn's Newford Herd in Athenry


21st October


11am - 4pm

Visit to the Newford Herd in Athenry and focus on the key technical aspects on the farm. On-farm speakers covering topics such as Grass, Soil, Breeding and farm infrastructure layout.
Workshop on Sustainability


November 6, 2017

10.30am - 5.30pm

Workshop on sustainability and Farm Assurance that incorporates soil and grass management with a focus on spring grass preparation. 
Communications Training

Friday & Saturday,

November 17/18

Residential venue

Communicate effectively with people like merchants, agents, advisors, lendors & other stakeholders in your farm business.
LEAN Principles Workshop 


December 2, 2017

10am - 4pm

Workshop on LEAN Principals of manufacturing and how they can be adopted at farm level to improve efficiency and drive farm profitability
Market insights  & Customer Awareness

December 18, 2017

10am - 4pm 

Module to understand the needs of the retail customer and wider marketplace trends in preparation for visit to the UK
Visit to the UK Retailer / Customers  January 16-18, 2018 2/3 day Visit to the UK to meet Dawn Retailers / Customers
Workshop on profitability 

February 10, 2018

10am - 4pm

Focus on key drivers of profitability and Financial Planning and the Profit Monitor, etc.
Workshop on herd health and breeding 

March 2018 

10am - 4pm

Workshop on the herd health, anti-microbial resistance and breeding
Planning for the future

March 2018 

10am - 4pm

Learn how to set achievable targets and document a business plan to ensure implementation. This plan can also form the basis for investment or lending proposals.
Teagasc Grange 

Spring 2018

12pm - 5pm

Visit Teagasc Grange to receive updates on the latest research work that is ongoing on Beef production and view the research herds.

* Dates subject to change. 


Programme Cost

The programme will cost €585 per participant.  Arrangements can be made to facilitate stage payments if necessary.  The programme is fully funded by Macra na Feirme Young Farmer Skillnet and Dawn Meats.  This cost is a contribution towards the UK study visit. 



More information is available by contacting Paul Smith, 


Young Beef Farmer Sustainability Programme application form


Please select your beef farming system

What future plans have your for the development of your farming enterprise? (100 word minimum)

Why do you think you would benefit from participating in the YBFSP programme? (100 word minimum)


What are the challenges and opportunities you face on your farm (100 word minimum)?

Please select the social media channels that you use most frequently.  Please tick all that apply.   

Whats App


Please tick, if you are a member of a Knowledge Transfer (KT) group  


Please select the highest level of agricultural education that you have achieved.



The Macra na Feirme Young Farmer Skillnet is funded by member companies and The Traning Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets Ltd., funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills. 

Department of Education   Skillnets


The Young Beef Farmer Sustainability Programme is supported by Skillnets and Dawn Meats. 

Dawn Meats