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Demand for Teagasc Education at all Time High

Teagasc reports a surge in demand for its agricultural courses in 2014. Close on 2,000 learners have enrolled in agricultural college further education programmes and Teagasc linked higher education programmes. This is a continuation of the very strong underlying demand for Teagasc courses of recent years. Teagasc has also seen an exceptional level of demand for its part time and distance education Green Cert courses. Teagasc has received almost 1,500 applications for its Green Cert courses. This is about three times the normal level of applications. On an annual basis over 3,500 learners participate in Teagasc further education programmes and linked higher education programmes. In addition Teagasc provides customised short courses to 5000 or so adult farmers and agri-industry personnel annually.

The exceptional increase demand for Teagasc Green Cert courses is primarily attributed to the introduction of a new EU support scheme for young farmers which comes on stream in 2014. Achieving a Level 6 agricultural qualification (at a minimum the Teagasc Green Cert) is a key eligibility condition for the new Young Farmer Scheme.

Commenting on the exceptional increase in demand for Teagasc Green coursres, Teagasc Director, Prof. Gerry Boyle emphasised Teagasc’s prime role and statutory remit in educating future entrants to farming and the wider agri-food sector. The Teagasc Director also highlighted the findings of a recent major Teagasc research study the clearly demonstrates importance of national investment in formal agricultural education into the future. "Agricultural education not alone gives very tangible strong positive farm outcomes. Education drives the absorption of knowledge on farms and the uptake of new technologies in Irish agriculture. These positives outcomes have a multiplier effect through the food supply chain. If investment in agricultural education is considered on a societal basis it yields a very beneficial rate of return on a comparative basis with the overall education system."

Teagasc Head of Education, Tony Pettit advised those who are interested in Teagasc part time or distance education Green Cert courses to contact the Teagasc Education Officer in their region. Teagasc colleges and associated private colleges will be hosting college open days on Teagasc agricultural, horticultural, equine and forestry course educational opportunities. Those interested should also contact the college of their choice. The Teagasc website www.teagasc.ie is now widely accessed by those interested in Teagasc education according to Tony Pettit. The Teagasc 2015 Course Prospectus will shortly be available through www.teagasc.ie.