The demand from another 1,200-1,500 young people to go into farming through agricultural courses exists, according to Teagasc.

Tom Curran, who was involved in the Share Farming Agreement which was launched recently, said share farming can start from April 1 and is a very exciting opportunity for dairy farmers in Ireland.

According to Teagasc, 50 students are starting their Green Cert in Kildalton and the demand from young people to study agriculture courses is very strong.

With all the current courses closed, Teagasc said is could run more as the demand still out there from potential students runs to 1,200-1,500 students.

He also said that Teagasc would be pushing for the Department of Agriculture to make the teaching contracts longer. “We will be plugging to make the contracts longer for the lecturers we have employed on two-year contracts.”

He said the fact the Department is accepting potential students to apply for schemes if they commence training by September 2016 is a credit to the Department. “It’s frontloading a qualification by people expressing an interest in doing a Green Cert.”

He also said that the share farming agreement is a new addition to the suite of collaborative arrangements.

“In Teagasc we are involved in delveoping these arrangements and it offers something new to the dairy industry that was not there in the past 30 years.

“It’s a model where older famers can take a step back or those with land looking to get involved with a young enthuasistic person running it.”

He said it will deal with stock ownership and dissolution and conflict resolution.

Farm managers, solicitors and accountants came to Moorepark came to discuss what was needed in the documents and what the blockers were in the industry, he said.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes, said the scheme has brought a level of professionalism to agriculture and the leadership that was given through the scheme is one of the great things about the Farm Apprenticeship Scheme.