Practical prowess: Upgrading your on-the-ground farm skills

Training sessions and education days are scheduled to take place over the coming weeks for a range of practical farm skills.

Organised by Macra na Feirme’s Young Farmer Skillnet, the current batch of courses available will take place from mid-April through to early July.

These courses include: Emergency First Aid and Health; One-day Hoofcare, Lameness and Mobility Workshop; DIY AI and Ultrasound Scanning Courses; Governance; and General Data Protection Regulation Information and Training Session.

In addition there is a variety of safety courses which will cover: Livestock handling; manual handling; and safe tractor driving and machinery maintenance. These will take place next week between Athy and Tullamore.

The courses are offered at subsidised rates for Macra na Feirme members but are open to all interested farmers. Further information is available here.

Employee management

In addition, Skillnet is running a half-day information seminar on employee management for Irish agri-businesses.

Entitled ‘Managing Your Agri Team’, the seminar will educate participants on how to:
  • Recruit the right people;
  • Get the best from one’s team;
  • Keep one’s best employees;
  • Avail of Skillnets funded courses tailored to one’s business needs.

Guest speaker at the event will be Nollaig Heffernan, of Heffernan Consultancy, who is renowned for her work in farming and agri-business, according to Skillnet.

The Skillnet team will detail the benefits of investing in staff training and how to avail of the subsidised opportunities for courses tailored to participants’ businesses.

The course day will run in both Fermoy and Athlone on April 24, and April 26, respectively. Cost is €35 per person and includes lunch.

Macra Skillnet

In 2015, Macra na Feirme established the Macra na Feirme Young Farmer Skillnet programme, funded by Skillnets and the Department of Education and Skills.

The programme provides a range of relevant training and development for young farmers, with a sizeable discount for Macra na Feirme members. Non-Macra members can avail of training courses, though without the discount.

Skillnet courses can be done as stand-alone once-off courses to upskill and improve techniques, or can be completed as part of an overall award.