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Upcoming Open Days and farm machinery simulators for Teagasc Colleges

Teagasc Education is delighted to work with Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon, T.D., and the provision of funding to Teagasc for the procurement of farm machinery simulators for use in our agricultural colleges.

Keith Fahy, Teagasc caught up with Marcella Phelan at the Education stand at Ploughing 2022 to get an insight into how farmers can go about doing the Green Cert with Teagasc. Francis Quigley gave an overview of the farm machinery simulators that are for use in our agricultural colleges which were funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

Upcoming Teagasc College Open Days

Here at Teagasc, we are extremely proud of our education offering, our learners, our staff and our facilities.  On behalf of Teagasc, I would like to extend a warm invitation to you to visit our college network during our forthcoming open days.  Our students enjoy courses in Agriculture, Equine, horticulture and forestry.  We offer full time, part time and distance course options.  All our colleges are hosting an Autumn open day where you can experience first-hand our facilities and course options.

The key priority for Teagasc at this point in time, is to provide leadership and support for the transformation of our agri-food system to a sustainable food system which embraces the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability.  Each of our college farms is a Teagasc signpost farm.  Our college farms lead and support the transition of Irish farming towards more sustainable farming systems, they contribute to the agricultural sector efforts to reduce agricultural emissions in line with national policy and the daily experience of our students on our farms builds national capability and capacity.   

You will have an opportunity to see how we are implementing changes on our farms which meet these new challenges and you can discuss how our education programme can support your training needs so that your future in the land-based sector is secured.

Farm Machinery Simulators

The state of the art machinery simulators will enhance Teagasc training programmes in health and safety. This development is very much in line with our strategy to embed digitalisation in all our programmes.

Making the announcement about the investment Minister of State Heydon said: “My priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our farmers, and this investment of over €1.25 million in 18 agricultural machinery simulators represents a significant step up in the efforts of my Department and Teagasc to improve the safety record around farm machinery and tractors. Farming has a poor safety record, accounting for approximately 42% of fatal workplace incidents in the period 2011 – 2020, yet only 6% of the working population is employed in the sector. Over half of fatal farm incidents are associated with tractors, farm vehicles and machinery. Teagasc National Farm Survey data indicates that about 700 farm vehicle and machinery incidents take place annually”. Driver operation has been identified both internationally and in Ireland as one of the major causes of incidents involving tractors and machinery. Thus, provision of enhanced training on agricultural machinery is an essential tool to improve the safety record of the agriculture sector in Ireland.

Benefits of machinery simulators

The arrival of the simulators across the Teagasc college network is an exciting development for our learners and staff. These simulators will be a great asset in teaching students the key safety elements of operating farm machinery. The simulators will enable students to train in the operation of a range of machinery. These include tractors with different implements such as balers, mowers and tedders, and also forage harvesters, combines, and telescopic handlers, covering all the common machinery operations carried out on farms. The simulators will be used at all agricultural and horticultural colleges and will be available to students completing courses at the colleges and also to students at the universities and technological universities who use the college facilities for practical learning. Simulator training is becoming increasingly adopted internationally in a range of work sectors, including agriculture. Simulator use allows training in high-risk machinery in a safe environment. Evidence also exists that simulator training with young operators cuts accident levels. Teagasc wish to acknowledge Minister Heydon’s particular interest and leadership of this project.

We look forward to welcoming you to our open days. Learn more about education at Teagasc.