SoEngage: Engaging farmers in social farming

Engaging farmers in social farming (SoEngage) 

Project Number: 2018-1-UK01-KA202-047975

SoEngage is funded through Erasmus+ 
KA2 Strategic Partnership in the field
of Vocational Education and Training for 2yrs
from 01-10-2018 to 30-09-2020.

Family farms represent an important resource to maintain and improve the social, economic and cultural sustainability of rural areas.

The objective of the SoEngage project is to develop training to support farmers engage in Social Farming for economic benefit and sustainability of the farm and the rural community.

Social Farming, also known as Care Farming or Farming for Health offers farmers the opportunity to use their agricultural expertise and resources to provide health (mental and physical), social or educational care support services.

The farm remains a working farm where people who need care support benefit from participating in farm activities in a non-clinical environment.

The partners of the SoEngage project represent 6 regions: UK, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Romania, Spain.

The partners will share their expertise and resources to create a comprehensive set of online self-learning resources. The online resources will provide farmers with training to develop their competence to engage in social farming. The training will include case studies taken from real social farm practices across the partner regions.

Training will be delivered to over 300 trainees who will be involved in testing the training from the beginning and throughout the term of the project.

The SoEngage training will be available in the 5 languages of the partners (English, German, Polish, Spanish and Romanian) and available as an Open Educational Resource (OER) which can be shared easily across the EU to engage farmers in social farming.

As a result of the development of these easily accessible online and digital platforms the training can be shared easily across Europe to engage farmers in social farming. This will benefit farmers through the entrepreneurial opportunity it provides them. It will benefit the people who use the social farm services by providing more professional services and will benefit the wider rural community through the social, economic and cultural sustainability.

First Project Meeting: Belfast, Northern Ireland

The first project meeting took place on the 15 & 16 November 2018 with partners from Germany, Ireland, Poland, Spain and two UK partners. The meeting was held in the EU Commission offices in Belfast and began with each partner providing an overview of their involvement in social farming.

The first piece of project work is to research the current situation of social farming in each region and for each partner to identify 25 farmers who will take part in the project to test the training as it is developed. The group of farmers will include those already involved in social farming as well as those who are interested in getting involved in social farming. The case studies to be used in the training will be taken from this target group.

Partners at the first project meeting: N Ireland November 2019

Electronic SoEngage Newsletter

PDF SoEngage Newsletter November 2018


The project partners are:

Germany: Hof und Leben GmbH are based in the Bavarian regions of Germany. They offer long term professional consulting to family run farms. This includes investment and financial support, advice on farm succession and how to optimise farm production through improved processs. HuL is also working in the certification of sustainability of energy based on biogas.

Ireland: Leitrim Integrated Development Company Limited is a community led local development company providing advice and guidance to farmers /farm families throughout Ireland who wish to establish social farming services through information and training events. They assist with understanding the potential and delivery of social farming services; raise public awareness of social farming through public events, mainstream and social media, engage with and support new initiatives around Ireland to progress and  develop social farming.

Poland: Association ARID is a private association working in the vocational education field. Their main goal is to develop and promote enterprise through lifelong learning. The team of expereinced scientists and researchers provide a comprehensive package of services for people who live in rural areas to address the needs of modern Polish enterprises especially on matters like innovation and technology. 

Romania: CPIP a not for profit NGO that works in the area of lifelong learning since 2010 as a private institution. CPIP is active in the educational and social fields which aim to promote the culture of lifelong learning through active involvement of all community members in developing a coherent strategy for implementing the concept and practice of “learning throughout life”. 

Spain: DEFOIN was established in 2009 and provide a comprehensive range of training and consultancy services. Training solutions are tailored to the management and delivery of continuing and occupational training for businesses and employed and unemployed. The team of highly qualified trainers offer over 100 professional course in 12 regions of Spain leading which lead to awards certificatation. 

UK: The Rural Centre is a limited company with charitable status established in 1993. Its aim is to promote peace building and respect for cultural diversity by connecting people to collaborate and build relationships cross community, cross border and between other regions of Europe. It does this through tailor made educational and thematic study visits within this region or to other regions of Europe; European projects to share best practice with partners across Europe and cultural awareness training for business, community and education.

UK: Rural Support is a charity set up in 2002 who provide a confidential helpline for farming and rural families as a listening, signposting and outreach service for farming issues, financial matters, physical and emotional health. Rural Support are responsible for the Social Farming Support Service to support existing and new Social Farming initiatives and promote Social Farming to further develop the Social Farming network, promote best practices in the delivery of services, and continue cooperation with other Social Farming initiatives to raise awareness of the concept and its progression.