Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Placement with Host Farmers

Practical Learning Period / Work Placement

Students will spend a number of weeks or months on work placement with a host farmer.  The number of weeks will depend on whether the student is on Year 1 or Year 2 of the college course.

Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture (Year 1) - Students on the full-time programme spend 8-weeks on a practical learning period with an approved training farm which has the enterprise of their specialism.  If the student is over 23 years of age they can complete this practical learning period on their home farm. 

Level 6 Advanced Certiicate in Agriculture - Students complete a 16 week practical learning period on an approved training host farm. While most students complete this in Ireland, there are opportunities for completing the practical learning period in the USA, New Zealand, Australia and Europe.

See Course Prospectus for details:

Teagasc Course Prospectus PDF

Ohio Link

Kildalton College has a well established link with Ohio State University. The Ohio international program allows students to undertake their training placement as interns for a duration of 4 to 12 months. Our students have been participating in the Ohio international program for a number of years and have found it to be very rewarding. The program manager Michael O’Keefe oversees internships and helps to arrange hosts for our students. Areas our students have worked in include: nurseries, golf courses, arboretums, vegetable production and tillage farms. Students from the level 6 advanced certificates as well 2nd year degree students are able to take part. Students must be aged between 19-28.

Student & Graduate who participated in the Ohio international program: Michael Moylan

Name: Michael Philip Moylan

I am a mature student, from Tramore, Co. Waterford. I completed my first 2 years of my BSc in Horticulture at SETU and Teagasc Kildalton and decided to defer year 3 so I could meet the offer of a 1 year placement, in Holden Arboretum, Ohio, USA, as Plant Recorder.

In 1st year , we were given a talk at the Teagasc campus in Kildalton by Mike O’Keeffe, head of the Ohio State University International Intern Program. We had a Question & Answer session with him afterwards and I discovered he had started out as an intern from Cork in the 70’s. He is now head of the Program! He recruited me in November, 2010, during Year 2 of my studies. We were told to pick 3 top choices of career path. I selected Arboreta, Botanical Gardens and Landscape Construction (in that order) and updated my CV and forwarded it to Ohio State University. I had several interviews, both by phone and Skype. Holden Arboretum offered me a 12 month placement which was too good to refuse so I went through the necessary channels and deferred my place until September, 2012. It has been a massive success and I recommend it to any one considering a year abroad. I worked in Plant Records, recording phenological data, entering it into BG Base (internationally shared database), I collected herbarium specimens and took inventory of the collection at Holden Arboretum, where the collection is in excess of 17,000 plants currently. Between April and July, we measured approximately 5,500 plants.

We were taken on several good field trips throughout the year and there was much opportunity to travel. This placement was the correct choice for bettering my career within Horticulture as a land scientist.

New Zealand Link

Kildalton College has a well established link with Canterbury Celtic Connections, a recruitment company in New Zealand who organises placement for Irish students on dairy farms for a 16 week period. Celtic Connections is owned and ran by Stacey and Trevor Monson. Kildalton students have been successfully placed by Celtic Connections for the last number of years. All placement applications are made through Kildalton placement officer John O’Connor who liaises with Celtic Connections to organise the placement.

Student experience

Name: Jason Ahearne

Address: Ballydasoon, Youghal, Co. Cork

I completed my Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture in Kildalton Agricultural College in May 2012. I then applied for and was awarded a place on the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Dairy Herd Management Course.

The first part of this course is to complete a period of work placement before coming back to Kildalton in December for a twenty week course block. Students are given the opportunity to complete this period of placement on an Irish farm or on a farm in New Zealand. I chose to travel to New Zealand to complete my placement as I wanted to experience working with large herds of cows and see how the New Zealand system of dairy farming worked.

I worked on a 600 hectare farm in the south island. The farm consisted of a 1200 cow herd with 400 replacement heifers, stocked at 3.4 cows to the hectare. The cow type is Kiwi Friesian / jersey crossbreds producing an average of 2.2kgs of milk solids per cow. The cows were milked in a 60 bale rotary cow shed with 2 milk vats. The farm is irrigated by 4 pivots and a rotorainer and K-line. Cows and replacements are wintered outside on kale. The key learning outcomes from my trip were the importance of grass management, herd health and effective breeding management. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to any young person training as a dairy farmer.