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The Farm Systems and Courses on Offer at Gurteen College

Gurteen College Beef Lecturer, Peter Grogan, and Drystock Farm Manager, Gerard Carey, give an overview of Gurteen College, the farm systems operated and what it has to offer students on this week’s episode of the Beef Edge Podcast with Catherine Egan Teagasc Beef Specialist.


Gurteen College is centrally located in Tipperary, an agricultural college providing quality education in pleasant surroundings. The college farm is the largest college farm in Ireland with successful commercial scale enterprises including dairy, beef, sheep, machinery, tillage and forestry business enterprises. Gurteen College has a long and distinguished track record of providing education and training for those engaged in agriculture and rural activities throughout Ireland and overseas lead by principal Jon Parry.

The Farm Enterprises

Gerard gives an overview of the autumn and spring calving suckler herd, dairy calf to beef enterprise along with the contract rearing of the heifers from the dairy herd. With an excellent spring breeding season with all cows proving in calf except one, all cows are housed until calving next February. The mixed farming system of beef and sheep offers a wide range of benefits. Autumn breeding season is just around the corner with a pre breeding scan taking place Gerard outlines his plan for the coming weeks. He highlights a number of finishing programmes taking place on the farm with Autumn born bulls now housed and finished indoors Under 16 months while some heifers are out wintered on kale.

See how Gurteen got on with last year’s stock when they were sent to the factory, check out the video (below) which was recorded mid-October.

https://youtu.be/pCxG0nEH7pk (Source Agriland)

Check out Gurteen Colleges Drystock Enterprise Report for October 2020 Here

The College Courses

Peter Grogan, Beef Lecturer at Gurteen College gives an outline of the courses offered at Gurteen. All courses are accredited by the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) and meet the requirements for stamp duty exemption and DAFM schemes while offering students a great amount of hands on practical learning. Peter highlights the importance of putting classroom theory into practice on the farm which gives students the opportunity to gain practical hands on learning and experience in many areas including, working with animals, farm maintenance skills and machinery operation as well as developing essential critical thinking skills setting up students for success in their future farming careers.  The courses on offer include:

Full Time Level 5 & Level 6 Course 

This course is suitable for future farmers and employment in farming. Upon successful completion of the Level 5 course, students can apply to any of the Level 6 Advanced courses on offer such as Dairy Herd Management, Drystock Management or Agriculture (Crops and Machinery). The course is two years in duration and offers students’ great opportunity to progress into further education and complete Level 7, Level 8 or Level 9 degree programmes in agriculture or similar courses.  Incorporated in the course, students must complete 24 weeks placement on a host farm.

Part Time Course

The course includes two awards: Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture and the Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate in Farming. Two years in duration, Students must be over the age of 23 and attend college two nights per week from 7pm to 10pm. (Monday & Wednesday).

Distance Education Course

The course includes two awards: Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture and the Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate in Farming. Just short of 2 years in duration, Students must be the holder of a previous level 6 qualification or higher and will be required to attend the college 1 day per month (generally a Friday from 9am to 5pm).

Check out Gurteen College Virtual Open Day Here

For further information on the college visit: https://gurteencollege.ie/

For more episodes and information covered on the Beef Edge, visit the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thebeefedge