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New Extension to Teagasc Advisory and Education Centre in Ballymote

The newly extended and renovated Teagasc advisory and education centre in Ballymote, County Sligo, was officially opened by John Perry TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Small Business, at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation.

Speaking at the event on Friday, 26 October, Minister Perry said; that agriculture is one of the important indigenous sectors of the economy, providing steady jobs, contributing to the economic activity in rural areas and providing the country with much needed valuable export earnings. He said that farming and the food industry is making a valuable contribution at the current time and will into the future, as the plans for the development of the sector laid out in the Food Harvest 2020 report are implemented.

Teagasc Chairman, Dr Noel Cawley said: “Teagasc is going through a period of change. In the advisory service we have looked at our network of offices around the country. In 40 cases we have closed offices and in other locations we have invested in improving the facilities for both our clients and for our staff. These changes have all been part of the Teagasc Change programme, approved by the Teagasc Authority and which have been implemented since 2009. Through prudent management of funds raised from the sale of assets, the organisation has, with the sanction and permission of the government, managed to invest to provide improved facilities for Teagasc to perform its important role in the Irish agriculture and food sector.“

Nationally, Teagasc has rationalized the number of regional Advisory Regions down from 26 a few years ago, to 12 today. Teagasc advisory and education services in counties Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal are managed as a single region. The office in Ballymote is the headquarters for this region with five other offices spread across the three counties. Ballymote is an important centre for education.

Speaking at the event, Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “The numbers of young people studying agriculture continue to increase. The total numbers of new enrollees in Teagasc run education courses across the country for 2012 amount to over 1,900, bringing the total number of people currently participating in Teagasc run courses to 3,600. In the advisory service, the Dairy Efficiency Programme (DEP) and the Beef Technology Adoption Programme (BTAP) have been hugely successful in encouraging farmers to adopt new technologies. The discussion group model for transferring technical messages has proved successful.”