An amalgamated Teagasc advisory service for counties Roscommon and Longford, under the steward of former Roscommon CAO, Oliver Burke, was launched recently. The advisory programme is now organised around four programme areas, with a renewed emphasis on the business and technology programme. The other programme areas are: Good Farm Practice, Rural Development and Adult Training and Life Long Learning. The advisory service in counties Roscommon and Longford will now operate as a single area unit, managed by Oliver Burke, with 23 agricultural advisors working from five offices and supported by seven administration staff. Bringing the Teagasc resources of the two counties into the one unit will help Teagasc to provide a more specialised sharper service to farmer customers. Roscommon/Longford Area Manager Oliver Burke said: ‘Much of our work in recent years has been dominated by schemes and services with high levels of demand from our farmer clients for schemes such as REPS, Single Farm Payment, and Farm Waste Management scheme and resolving associated problems. We will continue to provide this service, but a dedicated team of business and technology advisors are now in place and will work closely with farmers who want to improve technical performance by adopting the best technology that is emerging from our research centres.’ Those involved in the core mainstream farm enterprises will now benefit from the knowledge of our dedicated business and technology advisors. Our Good Farm Practice team know the intricacies of the various support schemes and REPS. Over half of our clients participate in REPS and with REPS 4 and the Farm Improvement Scheme commencing, this percentage will increase. Teagasc can provide the best advice on all enterprises including many of the alternative farm enterprises. Our specialised Rural Development advisors will provide the facts for you to consider the alternatives that are available. A comprehensive range of training courses are available, to help farmers to improve their IT and other skills for running their businesses more efficiently and effectively. They also include courses to help farmers meet training requirements for farm support schemes, stamp duty relief and health and safety.