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Taoiseach Opens Extension to Teagasc Centre in Ballinrobe

 

An extension to the Teagasc advisory and education centre in Ballinrobe, County Mayo was officially opened by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, today, Monday 19 October. This is one of the four locations in the Mayo region from which Teagasc provides an education, advisory and research service for the benefit of the 9,800 farmers in the region.

Speaking at the launch Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said: "This extension will be a major boost not just for farmers locally but it will play a significant role in the training of young farmers throughout the region. The economic activity generated from the beef, sheep meat and milk produced in this area, flows way beyond the farm gate into the wider economy, supporting rural villages and towns here in the West. The importance of agriculture nationally is recognised through the recently launched Food Wise 2025 strategy, with ambitious targets set to grow the agriculture and food sector in an environmentally and socially sustainable way. The family farm structure in Ireland is ideally placed to deliver this future development. Agriculture’s importance has also been recognised in the recent budget with measures introduced to encourage the transition of farms to the next generation. Farmers have been at the centre of the Economic Recovery that has taken place across the country in recent months. Our job in Government is now to make sure this is felt behind the door of every home in every region. Last week’s budget was a good first step and we will continue to work with farmers at every level.”

Teagasc has invested €130,000 in the Ballinrobe centre, which has doubled its capacity. The latest IT and computer facilities have been installed to provide quality education for up to 35 students at any given time. The offices for advisers, to meet and conduct their business with farmers from the region, have been modernised.

Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “Nationally we have seen a surge in demand for our education service. This region is no different. Normally we would have 70 students on our Green Cert course here, but this year there will be 250 students. This increased flow of young, well trained people back into farming will be of enormous benefit to farming and the agriculture industry in the region. We have recruited 4 new education officers recently, bringing the total number of education officers to 6 in the region, to meet this increased demand.”

Professor Boyle continued; “In this region we have a strong network of farmer discussion groups, facilitated by Teagasc advisers, for dairy, beef and sheep producers. These Knowledge Transfer groups successfully allow the uptake of the best technologies and best advice onto farms, improving their sustainability from an economic, environmental and social perspective.”

Teagasc Regional advisory manager, Peter Leonard said: “We are committed to delivering high quality support to the farmers and the industry in this area. Our advisers and support staff are working with cattle, sheep and milk producers to assist them to develop their farms and businesses and to improve their profits while maintaining the highest environmental standards.”