The Right Course Of Action
Combining cutting-edge modern developments with traditional practical skills, Teagasc offers a unique, hands-on learning experience – with an exciting selection of courses. Head of Education Dr Anne-Marie Butler gives more information.
Teagasc – the Agriculture and Food Development Authority – is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and education services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities. Across the country, they provide a wide range of education and training options, delivered through agriculture and horticulture colleges, Teagasc education centres, and in collaboration with universities and institutes of technology.
In the Teagasc courses, it’s 50% classroom and 50% outdoor learning – whether that’s in the field, in the polytunnel, on a horse - it’s on-the-ground, hands-on experience.
New apprenticeship programmes
Across 2022 and 2023, Teagasc are also set to launch their first ever apprenticeship programmes – including Sportsturf Technician, Horticulturist, Assistant Stud Manager, Farm Technician and Farm Manager – all of which will be validated by QQI. Find out more about Teagasc Apprenticeships here
Teagasc is very lucky to have Research, Education and Advisory all under the one umbrella. The latest research findings are brought into the classroom, in a very practical way. A lot of the great research work that’s going on in greenhouse gases, climate, and grassland technology, is happening within Teagasc – so it’s very easy to bring it into the colleges and put it in front of students.
Climate change remains a key focus for Teagasc, helping farmers to play their part in reducing emissions. The Signpost Series – a Teagasc initiative – was launched as a way of demonstrating best practice in sustainable agriculture, from an environmental, social and financial perspective. Through their seven colleges, Teagasc have been promoting the Signpost practises right across the country – from Ballyhaise in Co. Cavan right down to Clonakilty in Co. Cork.
Students from non farmimg backgrounds
A significant number of students entering Teagasc courses are not from a farming background. The FBD Young Farmer of the Year, Owen Ashton, was not originally from a farm. He just had a strong fondness for agriculture. It’s important to recognise how wide and deep a career in agriculture can be. You’re involved in it all – the growing, the processing, the marketing and the communication.”
Connection with Lecturers
College life is also a crucial aspect of Teagasc – with students forming important connections with their peers and their lecturers. We get students who ring back into the colleges, to chat to a lecturer – to run something by them that they’re doing in their new job, or on their farm. That’s a testament to the strong relationships that are there.
Before joining Teagasc, Dr Butler worked in a bank for fourteen years involved in agri-lending. There were a lot of people she worked with that had degrees in agriculture, who did really wide and varied things. It’s a great platform to have.
College Open Days
College Open Days take place as follows
- March 2: Mountbellew Agricultural College, Co. Galway
- March 4: Teagasc Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Co. Cavan
- March 4: Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College, Co. Cork
- March 4: Teagasc Kildalton College, Co. Kilkenny
- March 9: Gurteen College, Co. Tipperary
- March 10: Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, Dublin
- March 26: Salesian Agricultural College, Co. Limerick
Get more information on the open days here