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Minister Coveney presents Professional Diploma in Dairy Herd Management


The first Graduates of the Professional Diploma in Dairy Herd Management course were presented with their diplomas by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD at an awards ceremony at Teagasc Moorepark, on Monday 24th November. The overall Student of the Year award went to Ciaran Hanrahan from County Waterford.

Food Harvest 2020 recommended that additional educational opportunities be provided for prospective young dairy farm managers. In response, Teagasc in conjunction with UCD and other stakeholders, created a Professional Diploma award in Dairy Farm Management. The strength of the new Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management programme is its unique blend of hands-on experience based learning on top commercial dairy farms, combined with the input of Teagasc Moorepark dairy researchers, dairy knowledge transfer specialists and Teagasc education staff.

The Minister congratulated the 18 participants who graduated at the ceremony. Speaking at the event, Minister Coveney said; “The abolition of EU milk quotas in April 2015 will offer more employment and career options for people who want to become dairy farmers. Dairy farming is a highly skilled business. The future competitiveness of the Irish dairy industry will be dependent on an adequate supply of highly skilled young people entering the industry annually”.

Dr Frank O’Mara, Head of Research at Teagasc, said; “The programme is very firmly anchored in experience based learning and would not be possible without the very important commitment from host farmers. The host farmers on this programme are very successful business people in their own right, but provide invaluable mentoring to students and very generously share their time and private farm information with students. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the host farmers for their generous commitment to the programme”.

Teagasc’s Head of Education, Tony Pettit, particularly thanked University College Dublin as the awarding body for the Professional Dairy Diploma and emphasised the close working relationship between Teagasc and UCD in the areas of education, knowledge transfer and research. Tony Pettit also advised dairy farm families to prioritise education as a farm investment. Both Teagasc and international research confirm the high rate of return of investment in agricultural education to the farm family and to society at large. The rate of return is markedly higher than for other post second level education pathways. Teagasc through its Level 6 Advanced Dairy Programme and the Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management offer excellent education opportunities for aspiring young dairy farmers. Tony Pettit invited dairy farm families to take time to discuss their future family education needs with Teagasc.

Dr. Marion Beecher who coordinates the Professional Diploma in Dairy Herd Management course said; “Today is primarily a celebration to mark the achievements of the first graduates from the Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management programme. I would like to take this opportunity to wish our graduates every success in their careers in the dairy industry. I look forward to following your success and working with you as established dairy farmers in the future.”

The first Graduates of the Professional Diploma in Dairy Herd Management course were presented with their diplomas by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD at an awards ceremony in the Paddy O'Keeffe Innovation Centre at Teagasc Moorepark. Pictured are Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Dr Frank O'Mara, Head of Research, Teagasc, Prof Alex Evans, UCD, Tony Pettit, Head of Education, Teagasc & Dr Marion Beecher Course Coordinator with graduates.