Social Farming is the practice of offering activity on farms as a form of a social support service. It provides  a  pathway  for  people  who  need  support  to  contribute  to  the  positive  social  fabric  required  for  society  to  be  truly  inclusive.  Social (or care farming) is widely practiced by farmers in other parts of Europe and is a mainstream social / community inclusion activity in some countries.

Social farming as a concept is not readily known or understood in County Wexford.  There is general lack of awareness and knowledge of the concept and potential of social farming among farmers, social service providers and the statutory services. Wexford Local Development, while not experienced in delivery of social farming, has researched the model and firmly believes that it offers social, educational, therapeutic and rehabilitative opportunities for a wide range of people.  Such people benefit from the value of physical work, learning new skills and reconnecting with food, nature and rural life.

There is ample evidence to conclude that social farming has much to offer multiple sectors to include people with intellectual, physical, mental disabilities, older people, those with addictions and in need of rehabilitation and those with sensory and financial difficulties.

As a farm diversification tool, social farming offers the opportunity to enhance the rural Wexford economy through the development of a multifunctional service role on farms, helping to combat the effects of rural isolation as well as offering a solution to some of our health and social care needs.

Arising from the CEDRA (Commission for Economic Development of Rural areas) report, The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine recently sought tenders from interested parties to establish a national support network for the promotion and delivery of social farming in Ireland, whereby Social Farming is seen as “the practice of offering activity on farms as a social support service”.

Leitrim Development Company in partnership with other Development Companies including Wexford Local Development, Waterford LEADER Partnership, West Limerick Resources and South West Mayo Development Company has successfully tendered to deliver this network.

In order to develop this network in the South East (Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, East Cork & South Tipperary), a regional hub led by Waterford Leader Partnership is currently recruiting for a part-time Social Farming Network Development Officer.

Vacancy for Development Officer

The work requires someone with an excellent understanding of Rural Development/ Health and Social Care Provision (Social Farming) and the issues pertaining to both the service users – project participants and farming families.


  • Possess the interpersonal and communication skills necessary to establish trusting relationships with all stakeholder groups and encourage engagement with the service.
  • Good organisational skills both for own work and network/events within the region.
  • Influencing and negotiating skills, Facilitation or Training Skills
  • Excellent presentation skills & proficiency in IT.


  • Relevant Third Level Qualification and experience in rural community development, health & social care, or social inclusion.
  • Full clean driving Licence with own transport.

Location: South East region operating from:

Waterford Leader Partnership, Lismore Business Park, Lismore, Co. Waterford.

Hours per week: approx. 20+hours per week, flexible/part-time

Duration: Fixed Term contract up to up to 12 months.    

For Full job spec: email

Applications with C.V and cover letter to:

  • Email:
  • Post: FAO The Administrator, Waterford Leader Partnership, Lismore Business Park, Lismore, Co. Waterford.

Closing Date:  Thursday 17th November 2016 @ 5pm

Posted in Uncategorized