The questions and answers on Teagasc farming courses

John Kelly, principal of the Teagasc Clonakilty College, recently answered questions on how to avail of the organisation’s education and training courses.

Part-time training and postgraduate courses were among the topics

*Are there any night time agriculture courses? I work full time, and would be interested in doing a course in agriculture so that I can farm part-time, with the option of farming full-time in the future.

>>Teagasc provides a distance learning programme for graduates who already hold a non-agricultural major award at Level 6 or higher. This programme meets the education requirement for stamp duty relief for young trained farmers. The title of this course is Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture – Distance Learning Option.

This course is delivered in agricultural colleges and in the 12 Teagasc Regional Education Centres on pre-defined days over 15-18 months. Application information and application forms for the Teagasc Distance Education Green Cert for Non Agricultural Award Holders is available at www.teagasc.ie/ecollege.

Applications will not be accepted in advance of the formal application period.

The Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture and the FETAC Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate in Farm Administration is run part time over three years in 12 Teagasc Regional Education Centres. Contact your local Teagasc office for start dates.

*Is it possible to continue with a full-time job and complete the Teagasc Distance Education Green Cert for Non-Agriculture Award Holders? Do the fees have to be paid with registration in May or at the start of the course in September? What is the amount of time spent in class on campus per week? Is it possible to continue with a full-time job and complete the course?

>>Yes ... the participants are usually able to arrange their time around the day job. If block release is part of the course for skills participation in a centre, students usually arrange their holidays around this.

* Do the fees have to be paid with registration in May or at the start of the course in September?

>>The fees are usually payable up front.

*What is the amount of time spent in class on campus per week?

>>The online course model extends over 12-15 months, and up to 20 days over that period are spent at the centre or college. This timetable of days varies from location to location, so the best bet is to get this at registration in May from the course co-ordinator. The block release can be up to a week at a time, but when you get your schedule, then you can plan your days off and holidays with your employer. The course is challenging if you are working full time, and planning your work and assignments in advance is vital.

*I am looking for advice re training. I completed my Certificate in Farming in Warrenstown College in Meath in 1996/97, but have since gone down a different career path. However, agriculture is still something I have an interest in. I would be interested in learning more about estate/farm management. What would my next steps be? What training/further education would I need, or is available? Can it be done part-time?

>>With regard to farm management, Teagasc offers the Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management (Level 7). This programme incorporates two years professional work experience on registered dairy farms with the option to work overseas. Students partake in discussion groups and complete modules on block release in participating Teagasc colleges and in the Teagasc Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark. The entry requirements are that you must possess a Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture or an equivalent major agricultural award.

You could also consider applying to an Institute of Technology as a mature applicant with a view to completing a Level 7 or 8 Degree in Agriculture.

These courses are run in conjunction with Teagasc in CIT, WIT and Dundalk IT. You should talk to the Mature Student Officer in your local IT for further details.

* I’m wondering what’s my best road to take, I’m working on a dairy farm at the minute, I’m 24, I really enjoy farming, is a farm manager course the way to go?

>>If you have no qualification and you enjoy the work you are currently at, then becoming a qualified dairy farm manager would definitely be the career to follow. Firstly, you would need to complete the FETAC Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture at you local Agricultural College. Applications are currently being accepted for September 2013 entry. This course runs from the beginning of September until the middle of May 2014. This includes 12 weeks practical learning on a registered host farm from February to April.

On completion of this course, you would be eligible to apply for the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Dairy Herd Management. This commences with a further 12 weeks practical learning on a registered farm, either in Ireland or abroad (many students go to New Zealand). After this, students return to college to complete 18 weeks of course work. The course finishes in May each year.

The final stage in becoming a qualified dairy farm manager requires the completion of the Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management (Level 7). This programme incorporates two years professional work experience on registered dairy farms with the option to work overseas.

Students partake in discussion groups and complete modules on block release in participating Teagasc colleges and in the Teagasc Centre at Moorepark.

More in this section

Farming
Newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest developments in Farming with our weekly newsletter

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up
Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up