Teagasc urged to provide a 'special' green cert course
Teagasc has been urged to design a new agricultural course for women who have never received any agricultural training but still work on the farm daily.
The National Rural Network (NRN) report on Women in Agriculture report, published last week, recommended that an accredited certificate course be introduced to help women who work on farms but did not choose it as a career path. The course would cater for women who were widowed and left to run the farm, newly married women who want to help out on the farm and women who have no other choice but to take control of the farm.
"There have been instances where the wife has to run the farm because her husband is no longer capable of doing it, possibly due to addiction problems such as alcoholism," explained researcher Dr Pat Bogue.
The course would also be aimed at women who do not come from farming backgrounds.
"Traditionally farmers were more likely to marry 'farmer's daughters' from a similar cultural, knowledge and experience background.
"However, spouses today are more likely to have diverse backgrounds and experiences with varied capabilities, skills sets and off-farm employment," said Dr Bogue.
"This requires a targeted approach to continuous education and training for women who marry farmers and want to, or, for whatever reason, have to get involved in the farm business."