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Teagasc Advisers Win Travel Bursaries

22 July 2005

Two members of the Teagasc Advisory Staff will travel to the U.K and Mainland Europe over the coming months to examine and study new opportunities for Irish farming.

The Annual Travel Bursaries, which are sponsored by the Farming Independent, enable front line advisers and specialists examine technologies and methods of benefit to Irish agriculture. The two advisers will also report on their experiences in the Farming Independent on their return.

Derek O'Donohue, a Biofuels Adviser based at the Teagasc office in Limerick will study the development of the biofuels industry in France and Germany. Biofuels such as biodiesel are renewal fuels produced from vegetable oils such as rape seed and sunflower seed. Ireland is becoming more and more dependent on imported fossil fuel, which is now making up nearly 90% of our total energy demand. For an island nation, therefore, the provision of a secure, environmentally acceptable energy supply at a reasonable cost will be one of the biggest challenges facing this country in the coming decades.

Derek will use the study to highlight the potential of Biofuels for the Irish farmer. With CAP reform freeing up farmers choice of enterprises the timing of this study is very appropriate.

Eamon Egan, an adviser with Teagasc in Roscommon will study Sheepdog Training Courses for farmers in the U.K.

According to Eamon in the post fishler era off-farm employment will increase on small to medium farms. Therefore, the amount of time available will be limited so the sheep farmer of tomorrow will need to be well equipped in up-to-date technologies, time management and best practises to maintain a viable farm business. Eamon Egan believes that a well trained sheepdog will be an essential part of the sheep farmers equipment.

He said, "Having sheep farmers trained in the art of working a well bred sheepdog will equip them with a life long skill of benefit for the future".

During his study Eamon will visit and meet experts in Sheepdog training in England, Scotland and Wales.

Ends

Issued by Larry O'Loughlin
Head Public Relations Department, Teagasc
Tel: 059 9183408; 087 2562434
Email: loloughlin@hq.teagasc.ie