'It's a fantastic chance to work at a decent wage and gain savage experience'
Dairy farmer Jamie Costin believes he learns as much from the Teagasc students who work on his farm as they do from him.
For the last five years he has hosted a student from the Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management course and maintains the young motivated farmers keep him on his toes.
"All of the students have finished their Level 6, the Green Cert, so they already have a degree of experience and education behind them, and they have the best experts in Teagasc who are all grassland based teaching them," said Jamie.
"This gives me access to a young student who is keeping me on my toes because I have to train him or her and account for my methods.
"They go back into college every month and come back with the best information and I'm able to feed into that. They do projects on my farm all the time and we get assessed by the experts in Teagasc so for me it's a win-win situation."
Jamie, a former athlete who represented Ireland in the 50km Walk at three Olympic Games, took over his family farm and 260 cows in Ring, Co Waterford, five years ago.
His students are heavily involved in his strategic planning for the long-term future of the farm, as well as the day to day running of the farm, to ensure they are fully trained to manage a farm.
Many of his former students have forged successful careers for themselves and they now offer peer-to-peer support for one another.
"If someone wants to be a successful dairy farmer doing this course is probably the best option for them because they are getting exposed to some of the best farmers in the country. It's a fantastic opportunity to work at a decent enough wage while they are students and gain savage experience," he added.
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