Good interest in dairy managers' programme
Teagasc report strong interest in the new Dairy Farm Managers' Programme which the State body aims to launch at the end of January.
Briefings on the new course were held by Teagasc at Kildalton and Clonakilty last Thursday and Friday (and Ballyhaise last night), with good attendances at each of the locations.
Teagasc's head of curriculum development, Tony Pettit, said places on the 2012 course would be limited to between 15 and 20.
He said next year's course would be run on a pilot basis, with any increase in numbers being phased in to match the level of demand for graduates.
"We will have to gauge the market for farm managers, we are a bit ahead of the real demand," said Mr Pettit.
However, he said the goal was for graduates who passed the course to be recognised as professional farm managers within the industry.
With this in mind, Mr Pettit said Teagasc was looking for students who were "highly committed".
The course is split into two legs. Students are placed on approved Irish master farms for the first year. In the second year, they can choose to spend six months on a suitable dairy farm overseas, with the remaining six months spent again on an Irish dairy unit.