Irish farming lacks ‘practically trained farm managers’

The Irish farming industry is lacking practically trained farm managers, according to the Irish Farm Managers Association’s Chairman Gerry Twomey.

Speaking to the Teagasc Dairy Farm Management class in Moorepark on Wednesday, the Chairman said the education system is too focused on academic learning.

And as a result, some farmers are struggling to find practically trained managers to fill farm managers roles on farms.

Twomey also said that young farmers and managers need to be incentivised to allow them to follow a career in farming.

He said that the association has been looking for quotas or installation aid for farm managers for the last 20 years.

If there was some sort of an incentive it would be great, but it would have to be tailored to farm managers needs.

Also speaking at the event, former Chairman of the group, John Fitzgerald mirrored Twomey and said that young farmers need incentives.

But, he also said it was important for farm managers to take small steps to build a solid foundation, rather than taking a big leap and finding out that it wasn’t the right move for you.

“It is important to grow slowly, the steps you missed on the way up might not be there when you come back down,” he said.

“It is more important to take small steps and grow incrementally, you have a much greater chance of succeeding,” he said.

However, he said that young farmer managers need to remember the importance of a work life balance, as it is very important to live and have a good lifestyle.