Teagasc Dairy Diploma Students Graduate
Graduates of the Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Herd Management course were presented with their diplomas at an awards ceremony at the Teagasc Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, County Cork, today, Friday, 11 December. This is the second group of students to graduate from this recently established new course.
The overall Professional Dairy Diploma Student of the Year award went to Micheal O’Sullivan from County Kerry. Micheal, originally from a beef farm, chose a career as a dairy farmer because of the opportunities available. He is currently managing a farm in County Tipperary. The award is sponsored by the Farm Apprentice Board, the Master Farmers Committee and the Irish Farm Managers Association.
The Grassland Student of year award went to Ciaran Fogarty from County Waterford. The award is sponsored by the Blackwater Discussion Group.
The Teagasc Professional Dairy Diploma aligns with the FoodWise 2025 strategy on building human capital across the agri-food sector. In 2015, Teagasc published a ‘Stepping Stones to a Career in Dairy Farming’, which detailed the key technical and management skillsets required on commercial dairy farms. The strength of the Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management programme is its unique blend of learning on top commercial dairy farms combined with the input of Teagasc dairy researchers, dairy knowledge transfer specialists, education staff and industry experts.
Dr Frank O’Mara, Director 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 Frank Murphy, 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. Frank Murphy 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.
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 graduates from the Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management programme. I 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.”