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Agricultural Students Realising their Potential

A novel Teagasc open day for parents was hosted today 19 May, 2015 at Clonakilty Agricultural College, Co. Cork by the Fetac Level 6 Advanced certificate in Dairy Herd Management students.

The students demonstrated the knowledge and skills learned during the Level 6 course. Information was provided on the collaborative farming options such as partnerships and share farming, which are available to students and their families. The opportunity to continue their day to day education through the advisory service was also highlighted. Teagasc Education, Advisory and Research are all located on the Teagasc campus in Clonakilty, and the event showcased all three functions.

Many of these students are returning home to farm with their parents and the family partnership is an ideal way to integrate them into the business. Speaking at the event, Teagasc Collaborative Farming Specialist, Tom Curran said: “The family partnership has proven to be a great success in giving the young trained farmer a recognised role in the management of the family farm. It also serves as a transition structure until such time as the family are in a position to transfer the farm over fully”.  For those not returning home to farm on a family farm, the open day provided an opportunity for students to show the opportunities such as share farming that are available to them on completing their education.

Billy Kelleher, Teagasc Regional Advisory Manager in Cork West said: “Teagasc offers a unique combination of Education, Advice and Research to Irish farmers. Young farmers will benefit greatly from having contact with Teagasc Advisory services and with Teagasc research initiatives, during and after completing their Agricultural education. Education is a lifelong process and learning must continue to be part of every young farmer’s career plan, during their farming lifetime. Discussion groups and farm events are ideal methods of furthering education for young farmers. Valuable lessons can be learned from sharing and discussing farm performance with like-minded individuals at group meetings."

Majella Moloney, College Principal, said: “Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College are delighted to have hosted the first student led event on the college farm. The students exhibited their leadership skills along with the technical and business attributes required to effectively run the dairy farms of the future. These are the skills the students would have acquired over the past 2 years as part of their college course.”

Head of Education in Teagasc, Tony Pettit said: “Teagasc views education as a priority investment for a successful, competitive and sustainable Irish dairy farming sector. Recent research confirms the exceptional return on Teagasc education, both to the individual farmer and to the country as a whole. With milk quotas abolished there will be a fundamental shift in Irish dairy production. There will be more career opportunities in dairy farming for herd managers and farm managers and entry routes to dairy farm ownership though partnerships. Teagasc intend to maximise enrolments to its Level 6 advanced programme in Dairy Herd Management and the Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Herd Management to meet dairy industry needs.”