This guide tells the reader about online resources which are particularly relevant to the farming community. It focuses particularly on online information regarding farming finance and farming and the environment. The guide gives a wealth of reviewed Web links which provide access to agricultural information.
This guide is intended to show Irish farmers how the Internet can become a valuable tool in the day to day running of their farms. For those who are not already familiar with the Internet, it has many advantages including:
- It gives access to a global collection of information beyond the boundaries of any one organisation, institution or country.
- The Internet is one of the most up-to-date information sources available. Details of new directives or changes in Government policy are often reported as they happen.
- As well as using the Internet to search for relevant information, tools such as discussion lists, newsgroups and e-mail provide users with a way to debate issues of concern.
- The Internet is a low cost method of finding information. For the cost of a basic PC (the Internet is also available in all public libraries in Ireland) and a local phone call, users have access to the world’s largest library. Although some websites have subscription fees, the majority do not and the sites that we will look at later are completely free to access.
- Farming finance and assistance.
- Farming and the environment including farming alternatives, current EU Directives, the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme and organic farming.
- General farming advice. This can range from online editions of farming journals to advice for younger farmers or general animal care.