On completion of the Green Cert course, students meet the requirements of a qualified farmer for the purposes of all Revenue and Department of Agriculture (DAFM) schemes.
The benefits of having the Green Cert are numerous.
The Green Cert is a FETAC Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate.
The modules covered are Beef, Sheep and Grass Production, Farm Business, Pesticide Use, Farm Safety and Maintenance of farm buildings, as well as comprehensive training in Beef, Sheep and Grass Management Skills.
A qualified farmer under the age of 35 is exempt from Stamp Duty payment on the transfer of land which is presently 6%.
A qualified farmer can avail of a 60% TAMS grant and is also eligible to apply for the Young Farmers Scheme and National Reserve.
Both Inheritance Tax and Gift Tax come under the CAT category.
If the holding value exceeds €320,000, either of these taxes will apply, at a rate of 33%.
A qualified farmer can avail of Agricultural Relief if they can also pass the 80:20 asset test.
It would be advisable to discuss the above taxes with your accountant.
There are three main options available to students to completing the Green Cert.
The Distance Course (previously known as online course) is only available to students who have a FETAC Major Level 6 or higher qualification in a non-agricultural area.
It is delivered over an 18-month period, and the student will have to attend college for a total of 25 days during that 18-month period.
These college days are on normal working days (Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm), usually one day per month, with a block of five days at the end of the course.
It is available in agricultural colleges nationally.
The course fee is €2,990 payable on commencement of the course.
Additional information for this course is available at the https://www.teagasc.ie/education/courses/agriculture/teagasc-distance-education-green-cert/web page.
Students can contact their local college directly for information and enrolment packs.
The half day health and safety course is also a mandatory requirement under the TAMS grant scheme, irrespective of the scale of the grant application.