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Message from the Director of Knowledge Transfer and Education

With on-going uncertainty agricultural markets, the best way an individual farmer can protect him or herself is to adopt low cost systems that utilise all the available research recommendations and improved practices that maximise efficiency. Through lower cost per unit and high efficiency farmers ensure that they can survive during the difficult periods and maximise profit in the periods when output prices are more favourable.

Central to efficient low cost production is the adoption of newer research recommendations and improved practices. The annual Teagasc advisory programme provides all farmers throughout the country with the opportunity to see best practice in operation and to acquire new skills through public events, public media and contracted clients a specific level of service from their local advisory office. The new 2015-2020 CAP and Rural Development Programme also provides specific programmes of support, e.g. Glás, BDGP and Knowledge Groups, which support a more efficient and sustainable agriculture. These programmes represent a fantastic opportunity for farmers to engage in best practice for the improved efficiency of their own farms.

Education is necessary for anybody involved in an industry as dynamic and challenging as agriculture and horticulture. Teagasc has shown that farmers with formal training in agriculture are more efficient and profitable. The demand for formal education for young people coming into a career in the industry has expanded with the positive signals for agriculture. Teagasc is providing a range of training options to suit full and part-time farmers. The decision to provide additional supports through Pillar 1 and 2 of the CAP for trained young farmers is a huge opportunity for new young farmers to establish themselves. Teagasc will do everything it can to ensure that all young people entering farming have the necessary training and qualifications.

Teagasc provides a very wide range of practical, financial, technical and environmental training opportunities for farming and farm family members. By becoming a client of Teagasc and participating actively in its programmes you will be in a position to avail of opportunities to grow your farm business.

Teagasc advisory staff provide advise specific to you and your farm and will assist you in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your farm helping you make better decisions. The Teagasc e-Profit Monitor and ICBF reports are the basis for advisors to advise and assist you in relation to your profitability, investment decisions and negotiations with banks and merchants. You can be guaranteed that the advice and support provided by Teagasc will be independent, confidential and provided in your best interest.

Dr Tom Kelly

Director of Knowledge Transfer