The abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015 presents a real opportunity for the Irish dairy sector to significantly increase milk production. Ireland can produce milk in a more cost efficient and environmentally sustainable manner relative to many of our competitors. The Food Harvest 2020 Report (FH2020) calls for a 50 percent expansion in milk output by 2020. This is a very ambitious but achievable target. Expansion of this nature will require future Irish dairy farms to:
- be highly efficient and competitive
- have an ability to access and implement cutting edge dairy farming technology
- have strong business and technical managerial capacity.
Dairy Farm Managers of the Future
Dairy farm mangers of the future will require a broad managerial skillset including:
- business know-how to manage a commercial business
- ability to identify, analyse and benchmark key financial and productivity indicators
- technical knowledge to run a large modern dairy farm or dairy unit
- farm assurance, herd bio-security, health & safety and cross compliance audits knowledge
- ability to implement herd health, environmental and sustainable farming plans
- skills to recruit, lead, influence, negotiate and performance-manage people effectively.
- application of project management skills
- familiarity with Information Technology and decisions supports systems for dairy farming.
Food Harvest 2020 Dairy Activation Group Recommendations
The FH2020 Dairy Activation Group made a very clear recommendation that a further two year dairy programme should be introduced to follow on from the existing Teagasc Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Dairy Herd Management programme. Also, the follow on programme must incorporate a placement programme of two years duration on the best Irish farms and overseas farms.
Teagasc Professional Farm Managers Programme
Teagasc has developed a programme for professional farm managers of the future intending to manage their own or others dairy farms. This programme will include a two year internship programme on the most progressive Irish dairy farm with a view to developing managerial expertise and capacity of trainee managers.
The programme will also incorporate a FETAC Level 6 Supplemental Award in Commercial Farm Management Skills to support the professional development of trainee dairy farm managers.
Opportunities and Benefits
The future expansion and intensification of Irish dairy production will increase the demand for commercial dairy farm management skills. This programme will provide trainee managers with the managerial skills to manage their own or others farms for the future. The programme will also be promoted as the industry recognised standard for professional dairy farm management.
Outline of the Professional Farm Managers’ Programme
Kildalton College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny will offer the first Dairy Farm Managers programme in 2012 subject to demand. Key provisional details of the programme are as follows.
Trainee Managers’ Internship on Progressive Dairy Host Farms
- Internship duration: two year programme
- Year 1 Internship: 12 months on an approved Irish Farm
- Year 2 Internship: 12 months on an approved Irish Farm (or 6 months on an Irish dairy farm and six months approved overseas placement)
- The prevailing national agricultural worker pay rates and conditions will apply
- Required Learning Outcomes:
- husbandry skills competency
- technical and business knowledge development
- personal development
- managerial expertise and capacity to manage commercial dairy farm enterprises.
FETAC Level 6 Supplemental Award in Commercial Farm Management Skills
This award will provide professional development in regard to:
- dairy farm business and financial skills in an expansion context
- dairy farm technology transfer
- managing people in agriculture.
This element of the programme will involve approximately 25 days of course contact time over the two years of the programme. This will include:
- 10-12 discussion group/workshop days
- 3 block release periods of one week each
The course will be delivered by Teagasc dairy lecturers with involvement of Teagasc advisory and dairy specialist staff, research staff and guest lecturers as required. Participants will attend the Teagasc Moorepark Dairy Research Centre for one block release period to evaluate the most current Irish and international dairy farming related research programmes.
Application and Entry Requirements
Further details on application dates and arrangements for this programme will be available later this spring.
For information on all available courses click here.
Please note: Programme arrangements, terms and conditions are provisional and may change
Posted on: 09/02/2012