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Teagasc hosting ESEE21 Conference

The 25th meeting of the European Seminar on Extension and Education (ESEE) began today, Monday, 21 June, at the Teagasc Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Cavan, Ireland. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this is a virtual event with over 300 delegates from 30 countries joining via the internet.

Teagasc hosting ESEE21 Conference

The European Seminar on Extension and Education (ESEE) is a group of educators and advisors who hold a biennial conference and publish a Journal on topics related to agricultural extension and education.

The event has been organised by Teagasc in collaboration with University College Dublin and CAFRE in Northern Ireland. The title of the 2021 ESEE conference is ‘Learning for Life. Continuous innovation support through extension and education for sustainable farm communities.’

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD opened the Conference this morning saying: “One of the conference’s sub-themes is ‘Digital delivery of advice and education: What have we learned from the disrupted norm?’  I cannot think of a more appropriate topic. Innovation, particularly in digital communication, is the way forward and is essential that we share our learnings with colleagues from around the world so that we might be able to gain something positive from what has been, and continues to be, a difficult time for students and learning institutions.

I am delighted to note that the conference is a collaboration between not only Teagasc and University College Dublin but also CAFRE in Northern Ireland. We are all working to support rural communities as they face the great challenge of attaining sustainability for the farmer and rural communities, the environment and the consumer.”

The conference is organised under four sub-themes:

  • Digital delivery of advice and education: What have we learned from the disrupted norm? 
  • The evolving roles of advisors and educators in supporting learning.
  • Lifelong learning. Encouraging and facilitating continuous learning and development by rural individuals, households, and communities.
  • Evaluation and impact assessment of Ag. Education and Innovation support models

The keynote address ‘Continuous innovation support through extension and education for sustainable farm communities’ was the topic of the keynote address which was delivered by Professor Jim Kinsella, from University College Dublin, today. “It is great to see such a reputable and international body as the ESEE coming to Ireland…even if it had to be virtually,” says Jim.

John Kelly, Principal of Teagasc Ballyhaise Agricultural College, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the ESEE conference this year. It is disappointing that Covid-19 prevented us from welcoming, as was planned, the ESEE delegates to Cavan, but the interest in the conference, with presentations from countries as diverse as Australia to Azerbaijan, is phenomenal. Despite it being a virtual event, many Teagasc and CAFRE staff, in both education and extension, have put in a huge effort contributing to seminars which will give our on-line visitors a flavour of Cavan and neighbouring counties.”

Addressing the conference, Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc, said; “Teagasc’s philosophy of service to the Irish agriculture and food industry and to overseas agricultural development, through our involvement with Irish Aid, is firmly embedded in the concept of the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS).  We are, privileged, to have the three pillars of the AKIS - research, education and extension - within the same organisation but the challenge is to broaden and deepen this innovation network to embrace cognate institutions in both the public and private sectors both within and outside of Ireland. I hope this week’s seminar will greatly assist the development of an enhanced global AKIS.”

As part of the conference CAFRE will host two one-hour-long seminars, from their Enniskillen campus, one on Education and one on Extension featuring young professionals from Teagasc and CAFRE who work in local counties.

There will also be a seminar focussing on the joint programme between Teagasc and Lakeland Dairies. A new docufilm will be launched, showcasing the beautiful countryside of West Kerry. The docufilm profiles a range of integrated research education and extension projects, pursuing an ambitious 2030 Vision for sustainability on the ground. 

Chairperson of the organising Committee, Mark Moore, said, “It promises to be a great showcase of future opportunities in the delivery methods and outcomes of both advisory and education activities in Ireland and internationally. We have had a great response in terms of papers (80) and posters (50) from around the world.”

During the three-day Conference there will be over 80 oral presentations and 50 poster presentations describing new research and findings on education and extension/advisory topics. Oral presentations will be delivered by researchers from the following countries: 


























South Africa

South Sudan






United Kingdom

United States


 If you would like to join the conference email ESEE2021@teagasc.ie for a free ticket.