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Options to complete the green cert

Options to complete the green cert

Teagasc offers a wide range of courses for those embarking on their journey into agricultural education, including the ‘green cert’ – the umbrella term referring to a number of courses associated with qualifying farmers for the various Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine or Revenue schemes.

Joining a recent episode of the Teagasc Beef Edge podcast, Teagasc Education Officer, Serena Gibbons detailed the various pathways available, including full-time, part-time and distance education offerings.

Serena explained: “The full-time course would be available to school leavers and that's a two-year course delivered at the agricultural colleges. Students attend college full-time and they have two host farm placements as part of their course at different periods during the first year. Then in the second year, they can specialise into particular areas such as advanced dairy, advanced drystock or advanced mechanisation, depending on what their main interests are.”

Another option is the part-time course, which is offered in most regional centres and is available to students over the age of 23. Serena added: “It's delivered over a 24-month academic year and it's usually one day per week and with some evening classes.”

On the application process to the part-time course, Serena said: “Students that want to apply for the part-time courses that are offered at the regional centres can apply directly to the regional centres and there's a list of all the regional centres and the education officers on the Teagasc website.”

Thirdly, Serena discussed the distance course, which is available to students who already have a qualification in a non-agricultural area, such as a trade, diploma or degree.

“The distance course is delivered over an 18-month period with approximately 25 days that students attend college, mostly to complete the skills, and that's available in all of the agricultural colleges and some of the regional centres,” she explained.

Course modules

Serena also highlighted the modules studied, noting that “the course is really suitable for anyone wishing to follow a career in agriculture.

“There’s 12 modules covered in Level 5 and they include beef, sheep, dairy husbandry, grass and soils, and the environment, and along with the modules in farm safety and farm structures and tractor skills.

“Then in Level 6, we progress on to modules on sustainable farming, grass management, animal breeding and business, so it's quite a comprehensive course for anybody that's looking to educate themselves in agriculture, but they'll also tick that box for being qualified as a young trained farmer then for any of the schemes.”

Courses outside of agriculture

Along with the agricultural courses, Teagasc also offers a number of courses in the areas of horticulture, forestry and equine. In many cases, these are deemed equivalent to the green cert and will qualify the student as a young trained farmer upon completion. Additionally, Teagasc has recently launched four apprenticeships in the areas of: sportstuff management; horticulture; farm technician; and farm manager.

For more details on the courses offered by Teagasc, please visit here.

Listen to the Beef Edge podcast, where Serena details the options available, below:

Also read: Sharing their experiences of the new apprenticeship programmes