RBK Advise European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Project on Farm Succession Targeting Mental Health

This European Innovation Partnership (EIP) is funded by the DAFM and is working with 30 farmer participants and their families to explore the mental challenges & strains associated with the process of farm succession and introduce and provide supports/experts to help the farm family to address these challenges. This EIP initiative is co-funded by the European Commission and the Irish Government as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP). It involves a range of stakeholders - farmers, advisors, researchers, and NGOs - coming together in ‘Operational Groups’ to trial innovative solutions they have developed.

There is a wide range of EIP Operational Groups already in existence under Ireland's RDP, but this project among others is the first call for projects which specifically targets farm mental health, safety and wellbeing.

Who is involved in the project?

The initial researcher in the EIP Operational Group assessed the individual requirements of 30 participating farmers and the operating group experts then provide the required expertise to the participants through one to one discussions/meetings. The operating group members are two Health & Well Being Experts, an Agricultural Consultant, a Solicitor and James Fitzmaurice, Partner with RBK and Agricultural Sector Specialist as a Tax Expert / Accountant. Within this project James will meet with every participant farmer to discuss their current financial affairs and their farm asset and outline the tax implications on farm succession and potential reliefs available, including reviewing potential future income, financial planning for healthcare needs, scenario analysis, farmer specific solutions and related issues.

Why is this project needed?

Even where no dispute or misunderstandings occur, emotions caused by disappointment (which can lead to depression) become apparent when the farmer and landowner are informed that family members have no interest in the farm. The current generation of farmers (particularly those older-aged farmers) were raised in an environment (and not necessarily an ideal one) where the land was the sole focus of daily life. To have different opinions and views on the land and its importance in the generational hierarchy goes entirely against their purpose in life and fulfilling the task of passing the farm on to the next generation. This project will assess the mental challenges and strains in the process of the farm succession of participant farmers within the group.

Martin Heydon T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Research and Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine attended the launch of the project on Monday evening, 23rd May in Swinford, Co. Mayo. 

Commenting at the launch, James Fitzmaurice, Partner with RBK, said “This important project is the first of its kind in Ireland and addresses the many succession concerns farmers may have. It is hoped that this project will be expanded to the rest of the country in due course. 

For further details, contact James on (090) 6626750.

James Fitzmaurice

Audit & Business Advisory Partner

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