Thinking of doing the Green Cert? Here's some options

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Serena Gibbons

Agricultural courses have always been a big part of education in counties Galway and Clare with courses available in Teagasc Centres and in Mountbellew Agricultural College. Courses are still in demand and intake has been steady over the last number of years in both counties.

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 the having the Green Cert are numerous, these include:

Education

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.

Stamp Duty Exemption: A qualified farmer under the age of 35 is exempt from Stamp Duty payment on the transfer of land which is presently 6pc.

CAT

Both Inheritance Tax and Gift Tax come under the CAT category, once the holding value exceeds €320,000 either of these taxes will apply at a rate of 33pc. A qualified farmer can avail of Agricultural Relief if they can also pass the 80:20 asset test.

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It would be advisable to discuss the above taxes with your Accountant.

DAFM Grants

A qualified farmer can avail of a 60pc TAMS grant and is also eligible to apply for the Young Farmers Scheme and National Reserve.

Today there are number of options available to students to completing the Green Cert:

The Distance Course

Previously known as online course, this course is only available to students who have a FETAC Major Level 6 or higher qualification in a non-Agricultural area.

Delivered over an 18 month period, will have to attend college for a total of 25 days during that 18 month period. These college days take place on normal working days (Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm), usually one day/month with a block of 5 days at the end of the course.

It is available in Mountbellew Agricultural College, Co. Galway and is also available in other Agricultural Colleges nationally.

Course fee is €2,990 payable on commencement of course.

Additional information for this course is available at teagasc.ie/ecollege.

Students can contact Mountbellew Agricultural College directly for information/enrolment pack on 090 9679205

The Part-time Course

Available in Teagasc, Mellows Campus Athenry and Teagasc Centre, Ennis

One day and One eve /week for two academic years

Available to students over the age 23 only

Next available course commencing September 2019

Course fee is €1,700.

Full time course at Agricultural Colleges

Mountbellew, Pallaskenry, Ballyhaise, Kildalton, Clonakilty

Apply directly to college, annual entrance exam in June

Full time (Monday to Friday )September to May

Duration of two academic years

Course fee is €1,700

Includes 12 weeks placement on Host Farm

Teagasc provide half-day Health and Safety courses to assist farmers to complete the Risk Assessment Document. This is the minimum legal requirement for all farmers regardless of the size of their holding. The half day health and safety course is also a mandatory requirement under the TAMS grant irrespective of the scale of the grant application.

Serena Gibbons is Education Officer, Galway/Clare Unit

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