All the AFBI Webinar series can be viewed on this page in previous events on the lower section of this page, or on the AFBI YouTube channel.
- 11th - 14th May 2022: Balmoral Show
After the recent launch of the Soil Nutrient Health Scheme (SNHS) AFBI Scientists will be available at the AFBI Stand at this year’s Balmoral Show being held at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Lisburn from Weds 11th - Sat 14th May to answer any questions you may have on the scheme.
The SNHS is a four year, £45m significant new initiative aimed at improving soil nutrient health and estimating farm carbon stocks, right across Northern Ireland. The scheme will be delivered by AFBI with 27,000 farms and 77,000 fields being sampled by the end of the project.
The four-day Balmoral Show will also provide an important opportunity for industry stakeholders and the wider public to learn more about AFBI which is Northern Ireland’s largest provider of agri-food science and the work which it undertakes.
At Balmoral we will be showing how our research and other science is leading improvements in the agri-food industry, how it is helping protect animal, plant and human health and how it is contributing to enhancing our natural and marine environment.
Balmoral presents the chance to bring what we do to life and actually show visitors – of all ages - how our work is making a difference.
The AFBI stand is located within the Government Departments Exhibition in the Eikon Shopping Village.
Keep an eye on this page for upcoming events. More will be announced here and in the news items on the front page. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive newsletters and alerts about upcoming events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 9 December 2021: Winter Fair
AFBI attended the RUAS Winter Fair this year with AgriSearch. The theme of this year's joint AgriSearch and AFBI stand was 'Research and Innovation to help you on your path to net zero'. The AFBI and AgriSearch team and AFBI scientists welcomed visitors onto the stand throughout the day. AFBI also had a presence on the Barenbrug stand where two new AFBI-bred grasses were released Ballyvoy and Dundrod.
- 8 December 2021: AFBI Economics Research Conference
AFBI held an Economics Research Conference on Wednesday 8th December entitled 'Environmentally Sustainable Farming: Policies, Pathways and People'. The programme featured contributions from AFBI Economists and guest speakers.
You can view the Conference from the links below:
- 25 November 2021: George Scott Robertson Memorial Lecture
This yearly event was held in collaboration with QUB Institute of Global Food Security (IGFS) on 25th November at QUB and via webinar. The guest speaker was Maggie Gill OBE, FRSE, former Chief Scientific Advisor for the Environment and Rural Affairs in the Scottish Government and is currently an emeritus Professor in the School of Biology, University of Aberdeen who presented on "Delivering Change in the Agri-Food Sector - Learning from Each Other". You can view the event on YouTube.
28 October 2021: Farming Life Awards
The farming sector is a major contributor to the local economy of Northern Ireland employing thousands of people and the Farming Life Awards recognise the vast talent, entrepreneurship and excellence that exists in the sector. These awards offer farmers and businesses operating in the farming sector a great opportunity to showcase their achievements and increase their profile. AFBI sponsored one of the categories 'Unsung Hero' which was won this year by Basil Bayne.
- 19 October 2021: AFBI/QUB Alliance Stakeholder Event
A significant event for the Northern Ireland economy took place jointly hosted by the QUB/AFBI Alliance. The alliance has a key goal of supporting Northern Ireland’s agriculture, environment and food systems so that they remain innovative and globally competitive in a rapidly changing world. The event provided an opportunity for DAERA representatives including Minister Edwin Poots MLA, and some of the major players in the agri food industry in Northern Ireland to come together to discuss how best to respond to the growing environmental and climate issues dominating the headlines, with a key focus on partnership working.
- 22-25 September 2021: Balmoral Show 2021
This year, the Balmoral show took place in September, after a hiatus of around 16 months. AFBI had its stand back within the Government departments display, alongside colleagues from DAERA, CAFRE and the NIEA.
- 16 September 2021: Celebration event for the Long-term Slurry Experiment at AFBI Hillsborough
The long term Slurry (LTS) site is one of the longest running grassland experiments in the UK and probably the oldest grassland experiment on slurry applications in the world. The grassland experiment was established in 1970 at AFBI research farm in Hillsborough, County Down. The outdoor event was organized at AFBI Hillsborough by invitation within COVID restrictions. View information on the event
- 30 July - 1 August: Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend
One of AFBI's Scientists Dr Debbie McConnell was filmed for this event at her family farm.
- 22 June 2021: Book launch at AFBI Hillsborough
The AFBI CEO attended the launch of this book at AFBI Hillsborough. The author was Vanessa Woods and the book aimed at Primary School children was titled "NI: Our Food Our Story". Other partners included ABP, ASDA, Cavanagh Free Range Eggs, Deansgrange Dental Clinic, Grassland Agro, IFJ, LMC, Whites Oats and NIFPA.
- May - October 2021: BEEF WEBINAR SERIES 2021: Solutions to deliver sustainable beef production
AFBI, CAFRE, LMC, NIMEA, NBA and UFU joined forces to deliver a series of four beef webinars with a focus on sustainable beef farming for the future. They were specifically tailored for farmers and focused on solutions that can be adopted to further increase the sustainability of the beef industry in NI. Speakers included farmers, industry reps, researchers and advisers and the webinars provided important messages for all involved in the local beef industry.
Webinar 1: 20 May - "Grass - your greatest asset"
Webinar 2: 17 June - "Resilience within beef production systems"
Webinar 3: 30 Sept - "Carbon - a challenge and opportunity for beef farming"
Webinar 4: 21 Oct - "Sustainable beef supply chain initiatives"
- 24 March 2021 - AFBI Science Outlook Conference 2021
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute held its annual "AFBI Science Outlook Conference 2021” on 24 March 2021, streamed live via YouTube.
The Conference, now in its fourth year, focused on key challenges and opportunities and associated recent scientific implications for the local and global agri-food and environmental sectors.
An exciting range of internationally renowned speakers presented alongside leading AFBI Scientists, in the areas of animal and human health, environmental modelling and plant based food production.
The Conference was recorded and is available to view on the AFBI YouTube Channel by following this link
- 6 March 2021 - International Womens Day Webinar
AFBI, Soroptimist International Northern Ireland (SINI), and Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) held a webinar to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, a celebration of renowned female scientists from the local agri-food, biosciences and environmental sectors in Northern Ireland responsible for the delivery of projects with truly global impact. Amongst the speakers on the day were a number of women from AFBI. Speakers included:
|Dr Elizabeth Magowan||Director of Sustainable Agri-Food
|Professor Louise Cosby||Head of Virology, AFBI|
|Professor Sharon Huws||Institute of Global Food Security, QUB|
|Dr Lisa Black||Head of AFBI Crossnacreevy|
|Professor Niamh O'Connell||Institute of Global Food Security, QUB|
|Mrs Josephine Kelly||Acting Chief Executive, AFBI|
|Mrs Joan Houston||AFBI Board Member and Member of
the SINI Regional Executive
- 30 October 2020 - Webinar - “Nutritional solutions to environmental challenges”
In September 1996 a unique research consortium was formed, when AFBI, John Thompson & Sons and Devenish Nutrition got together to investigate and develop opportunities to improve the efficiency of pig production and to investigate and improve the effect of pig production on the environment. This group has collaborated since 1996 and continues to focus on research projects which will improve the sustainability of the pig industry. A webinar was held on Friday 30th October to present the findings of both scientific and commercial pig research carried out by the consortium and 55 stakeholders took part. The role that pig nutrition has in reducing nitrogen, ammonia and odour emissions was visited. Read the booklet published to compliment the event. A recording of the webinar will be available shortly on the AFBI YouTube Channel.
- 28 October 2020 - Webinar 3: “Where the land meets the sea - a holistic approach towards the sustainable management of the marine environment and natural resources” by Dr Heather Moore, Dr Adam Mellor and Dr Matthieu Lundy
Dr Heather Moore is a catchment and aquaculture science expert. Heather provided an overview of the application of coastal catchment modelling in Northern Ireland. Her talk will also focus on the use of catchment models to manage the full range of ecosystem services supplied by shellfish, and the mitigation of eutrophication impacts.
Dr Adam Mellor is the programme lead for oceanography and limnology science research within AFBI. His presentation outlined the ongoing marine environmental monitoring work undertaken by AFBI and its importance for addressing key challenges such as climate change, environmental resilience and an ecosystem-based approach to marine resource management.
Dr Mathieu Lundy is programme lead for marine fisheries science research within AFBI. His talk outlined the scientific work underpinning a framework for integrating environmental factors and ecosystem function into fisheries management in the Irish Sea. He will present new advances in ecosystem-based approaches to fishery management and the contribution this is making to national and international policy.
A recording of the webinar can be viewed below:
21 October 2020 - Webinar 2: “Impacts of the environment, nutrient loading and other human pressures on life in rivers and lakes” by Dr Robert Rosell, Dr Maria Snell and Dr Richard Kennedy.
Dr Robert Rosell is the programme lead for freshwater fisheries research in AFBI. Robert provided an overview of how nutrient levels in water drive changes in the fauna inhabiting freshwaters, with a focus on fish in Northern Ireland Lakes.
Dr Maria Snell is a freshwater ecologist with expertise in biological responses to environmental change, particularly in river habitats. Her presentation explored how ecological studies from AFBI’s long term catchment monitoring programmes, particularly in the Upper Bann, can be used to explore changes in water quality.
Dr Richard Kennedy is a senior scientist based at AFBI’s River Bush Salmon Station. Richard's talk focused on the Dollaghan trout of Lough Neagh, which spawn in inflowing rivers and feed and grow in the lake, and are a key indicator species for the whole freshwater aquatic system.
A video of this webinar can be viewed below:
- 15 October 2020 - Webinar 1: "Soil to Catchment Management of Agricultural Nutrients" by Dr Donnacha Doody, Dr Suzanne Higgins and Dr Rachael Cassidy.
Dr Donnacha Doody is programme lead for Catchment Science Research in AFBI. Donnacha will outline recent scientific evidence being used to inform the Nutrient Action Programme in Northern Ireland.
Dr Suzanne Higgins is a soil scientist in AFBI with expertise in soil fertility and nutrient management. Suzanne will discuss her research on refining farm and field scale nutrient management to optimise production, improve soil health and minimise nutrient losses to the environment.
Dr Rachel Cassidy will present recent work on soil mapping and modelling undertaken in AFBI. Rachel will highlight the potential for this to inform strategies for nutrient management and targeted mitigation of agricultural inputs to water quality.
A recording of this event can be viewed below:
- 1 October 2020 - AFBI Science Outlook Webinar - The Future of Beef Production to 2030
AFBI hosted the fourth of its well received Webinar series on Thursday 1 October 2020. Speakers this time were Dr Steven Morrison, Dr Denise Lowe and Dr Francis Lively from AFBI's Livestock Research Branch.
A recording of the event can be viewed below:
- 18 September 2020 - Webinar - Carlingford Catchment Conservations
The final session focussed on "Knowing what works" with special guest Matthew Bushby, Mourne Heritage Trust. The ALICE Project provides an opportunity to work out what will guide future collaboration and innovation in how the Carlingford catchment is managed. In this final session, attendees were invited to consider what information and know-how you need to play your part in the stewardship of Carlingford catchment. Mourne Heritage Trust play a crucial role in conservation of the unique Mournes landscape that is so familiar to those in Carlingford catchment. Their recent work was highlighted and future priorities that will contribute towards securing a positive future for this iconic landscape.
- 16 September 2020 - Webinar - Carlingford Catchment Conservations
The second in a series of three webinars was held on Wednesday 16th September and focussed on "Working together more effectively" with special guest Mark Horton, Ballinderry Rivers Trust. Building on the first session, this session considered how land managers and those who care for the catchment work together more effectively to secure the natural environment everyone wants. Ballinderry Rivers Trust outlined how to work effectively with local land managers to create a network of nature-based solutions. Atendees heard how this project succeeded in preventing extinction of the freshwater pearl mussel by improving the quality of their habitat.
- 11 September 2020 - Webinar - Carlingford Catchment Conversations
A series of interactive online workshops to explore how we can work together in the stewardship of Carlingford catchment was held in September 2020. Series 1 was held on Friday 11th September and focussed on "Nature-Based Solutions - Where and Why" with special guest Professor Chris Spray, Eddleston Water Project (Tweed Forum & Dundee University).
- 2 July 2020 - AFBI Science Outlook Webinar - Safeguarding NI's Natural Capita from Invasive Alien Species
AFBI will host the third of its well received Webinar series on Thursday 2nd July 2020. Speakers this time will be Dr Colin Fleming and Dr Archie Murchie from Grassland & Plant Sciences Branch.
A recording of the webinar can be viewed below:
Websites which may be of interest to report sightings of diseased plants or invasive species are:
- Tree Check www.treecheck.net
- The CEDAR (NI records) https://www2.habitas.org.uk/records/
- National Biodiversity Data Centre (RoI records) http://records.biodiversityireland.ie/record/invasives
-I nvasive Species Ireland https://invasivespeciesireland.com/
- 18 June 2020 - AFBI Science Outlook Webinar 2 - The Future of Dairy Production to 2030
AFBI hosted its second Webinar on Thursday 18th June 2020. Speakers were Dr Conrad Ferris and Dr Debbie McConnell of Livestock Production Sciences Branch, AFBI Hillsborough.
A recording of the webinar can be viewed below:
- 4 June 2020 - AFBI Science Outlook Webinar 1 - Future Opportunities to Address Air Quality in NI.
AFBI hosted a Webinar on Thursday 4th June 2020. Speakers were Dr Dario Fornara and Dr John McIlroy both AFBI.
A recording of the webinar can be viewed below:
- 5 March 2020 - Catchment Care Willow Seminar Dundalk
“Exploring the Benefits of SRC Willow Planting for Water Quality Protection and Waste Water Management” Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk. AFBI, in partnership with Donegal County Council and the EU Catchment CARE project and in conjunction with Teagasc held a conference & workshop Exploring the Benefits of SRC Willow Planting for Water Quality Protection and Waste Water Management.
- 27 February - Staff Science Day 183 AFBI staff attended the La Mon Hotel for the annual Staff Science Day
- 25 February - Schools Open Day - AFBI hosted 150 students from nine schools across Northern Ireland. The students all enjoyed a tour and information on the AFBI farm.
- 13-23 February 2020 - NI Science Festival included a series of tours of the AFBI Research Vessel, Corystes over 3 days of the NI Science Festival.
- 8 January 2020 - Omagh Open Day
- 12 December 2019 - RUAS Winter Fair was held at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Maze, Lisburn.
- 6 November - The George Scott Robertson Memorial Lecture was held at Riddel Hall, Belfast delivered by former Waitrose supermarket MD Lord Mark Price. His keynote address was entitled: "UK Food Systems - Adapting to Change". This lecture was hosted jointly by AFBI, IGFS QUB, UFU and DAERA.
- 24 October - AFBI sponsored the category "Unsung Hero" at the Farming Life Awards held at La Mon House Hotel. The winner of the award was Jon Dan O'Hare.
- 16-17 October - Launch of the Precision Grazing Platform was held at AFBI Hillsborough. This will help the UK livestock industry optimise the use of grassland in dairy and beef production systems.
- 4 October 2019 - A Lecture was held by AFBI's Rodrigo Olave in AFBI Hillsborough entitled "Climate Change in the South Atlantic UK Overseas Territories".
- 28 September - AFBI Fisheries & Aquatic Ecosystems staff attended the River to Lough Festival held at Toome.
- 8-12 September 2019 - Professor Nicolae Corcionivoschi Head of AFBI Food Microbiology hosted the 20th International Workshop on Campylobacter (CHRO19) at various locations throughout Belfast.
- 3 and 4 September - Beef and Sheep finishing events organised by AFBI, CAFRE, AgriSearch and LMC were held in Swatragh and Hilltown Livestock Markets.
- 21 August 2019 - A Calf rearing event was held in AFBI Hillsborough, with over 70 dairy farmer co-researchers attending.
- 27 June 2019 - The Guild of Agricultural Journalists visited AFBI Hillsborough.
- 25 June - An Arable Day was held at AFBI Crossnacreevy.
- 12 June 2019 - A Lunchtime lecture “Ecosystem Services and the Ecointensification of Shellfish Aquaculture” was held in AFBI Headquarters, 18a Newforge Lane, Malone Upper, Belfast, BT9 5PX by Guest Lecturer Dr João Ferreira, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Faculty of Sciences & Technology , New University of Lisbon - Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
- 1 June 2019 - AFBI Bushmills opened its doors to visitors to the Salmon & Whiskey Festival.
- 28 and 29 May - "Breeding for Performance" Roadshows were held at Ballymena and Clogher Livestock Markets organised by AFBI, AgriSearch, CAFRE and LMC.
- 15 May - 18 May 2019 - Balmoral Show. Northern Ireland's biggest agricultural and rural life event took place this year over 4 days at the Balmoral Park EIKON Exhibition Centre in Lisburn. AFBI was at the show promoting its science and how it benefits the NI agri-food industry.
- 16 Feb - 18 Feb 2019 - Tours of AFBI Research Vessel Corystes: The AFBI research vessel Corystes was docked in Belfast for three days and was fully booked throughout the festival with visitors including the Belfast Lord Mayor and wide range of members of the public who learnt all about the work and research AFBI carry out whilst at sea.
- 16 Feb - 19 Feb 2019 - NI Science Festival Roadshows: AFBI again were fully involved in some super events during the festival including four roadshows held in Newry, Enniskillen, Dungannon and Ballymena. Approximately 1500 children came through the doors over the four days of the roadshows with AFBI staff demonstrating some interesting scientific displays for scientists of the future. The four days comprised of a Funky Chicken (food hygiene) display in Newry, an eels and freshwater display in Enniskillen, a flavour sensory display in Dungannon and finally AFBI vets showed those attending a "veterinary nasties" display in Ballymena.
- 28 Feb - 1 March 2019 - All-Ireland Meat Science Conference: This Conference showcased the breadth of meat science research conducted on the island of ireland and facilitated discussion between scientists and industry. The conference attracted 82 delegates with a balance of those attending from the meat industry and specific organisation from NI, ROI and GB.
- 1 Feb 2019 - AFBI Agricultural & Food Economics Seminar: "Dynamics of Dairy Farm Productivity Growth". The seminar by Dr Shingo Kimura from the OECD presented cross-country comparisons of productivity growth in the dairy farm sector in England, Estonia and the Netherlands. These country comparisons show how different policy environments and farm structural characteristics lead to different dynamics driving productivity change.
- 15 Jan 2018 - Woody Plant Seminar: AFBI held a seminar to discuss the future research needs of industries reliant on wood based plants in Northern Ireland. The AFBI led seminar, held in Armagh City Hotel featured presentations from experts representing AFBI, QUB, UU, Teagasc and UCD. The event attracted over 40 stakeholders from 18 different organisations representing farming, the environment, forestry, science organisations and policy makers.
- 13 Dec 2018 - RUAS Winter Fair: AFBI were out in force at the RUAS Winter Dairy Fair, promoting the work of our dairy scientists, animal health, soils and plant experts, all of which helped visitors with improving their farm productivity. AFBI dairy researchers and vets were on hand to help farmers with health planning for their animals and silage quality and zero-grazing.
- 21 Nov 2018 - Beef Conference: AFBI, along with CAFRE, the UFU, LMC and National Beef Association organised an all-day conference for beef farmers to highlight best practice and the results of the latest production and animal health research, entitled 'Healthy Cattle, Hela
- 12-15 Nov 2018 - Fall Forum: The 6th AFBI-initiated Fall Forum came back to Belfast in 2018. Bringing together the top echelons of agri-research scientists from the UK, Ireland, Canada and the US, along with representatives from NZ and Australia for twhat promises to be the biggest meeeting yet. This event explored the latest developments and agri-food challenges which can be addressed through research and innovation.
- 3 Oct 2018 - AFBI Postgraduate Showcase 'The Future': This event provided a forum where post-grad researchers, practitioners, industry leaders and policy makers could promote, interact and discuss the cutting edge research ongoing within AFBI. The conference programme was designed to facilitate both formal and informal interactions among all participants. Oral and poster sessions were presented providing the conference attendees the opportunity to interact with colleagues and researchers in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
- 6 Jun 2018- Dairy Open Day: AFBI held a major Dairy Open Day at Hillsborough, with the theme of Dairy Innovation 2018 - Profiting from AFBI Research. Run in partnership with AgriSearch and CAFRE, it featured current research work at AFBI in support of the dairy sector. The event will provide visitors with the opportunity to view the latest research and to discuss how AFBI scientists are using the latest technologies to find new ways of optimising farming practices.
- 7 Jun 2018- Open Meeting: AFBI hosted a stakeholder Open Day at Hillsborough which highlighted a selection of new research being undertaken at the Institute as well as a meet the scientist event following the formal proceedings.
- 16-19 May- Balmoral Show 2018 Northern Ireland's biggest agricultural and rural life event took place this year over 4 days at the Balmoral Park exhibition site. AFBI, as usual, was at the show promoting its science and how it benefits the NI agri-food industry. This year however, AFBI was out in force on its own stand for the first time, exhibiting independently as part of wider outreach activity.
- 13 Mar 2018- AFBI Outlook Conference: The second annual AFBI Outlook Conference will focus on recent developments in science which will have significant implications for the local and global agri-food sector. Key topics for discussion will include, Bovine Tuberculosis – Progress Towards a Science-Based Solution, Livestock Improvement Through Genetic Selection and the Power of Big Data and Science and Land Management - Opportunities to Deliver Sustainable Intensification. An agenda for the event can be viewed HERE This is your chance to hear about the latest developments in science and how these will shape the future of the local and global agri-food industry. The conference will run from 10am to 4pm at the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.
- 06 Feb 2018- Schools Open Day at AFBI Hillsborough: Over 160 GCSE, BTEC and A-Level agriculture, and biological sciences students from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland descended on AFBI Hillsborough to see how Agricultural Research takes place, find out about the skills and education that our researchers and farm staff have and other careers available to them in this area.