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Smith Presents Advanced Certificates in Agriculture

Speaking at the presentation of Advanced Certificates in Agriculture to over 220 students at Ballyhaise Agriculture College in Cavan, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD paid tribute to the College's role in the delivery of agricultural education and training in Ireland.

The Teagasc-owned Ballyhaise College is one of the leading agricultural colleges in the country providing a wide range of education and training courses to students and to the wider farming and rural community. All of the courses delivered are fully accredited by both FETAC and HETAC award bodies. The college is also providing Higher-level courses in co-operation with Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Teagasc's advisory services for counties Cavan and Monaghan are also based in Ballyhaise Agriculture College, while the college is now intensively involved in the Teagasc research programme to improve the viability of dairying in the area.

The Minister congratulated students and staff at Ballyhaise for their dedication and commitment to agricultural education and training and went on to say "I firmly believe that agricultural education is an important stepping-stone to a successful career in primary agriculture and in the wider agri-food sector. It is through education that students gain the necessary practical and theoretical skills to carve out successful careers in their chosen fields. I welcome the increase in students attending agricultural education and training courses over the past three years with new applicants for full-time courses increasing from 620 in 2006 to over 1,100 in the current year. This augurs well for the future of the Irish agri-food sector".