The number of students accepted into the Professional Diploma in Farm Management will double over the next two academic years, the Chairperson of the Irish Farm Managers Association (IFMA) has said.

Jerry Twomey told Agriland that 25 students will begin the Diploma course offered by Teagasc and UCD in 2016 and 2017.

In September 2015, 13 students enrolled in the programme and the extra places have been provided on the back of increasing demand from both students and farmers who are looking for suitably trained farm managers.

The level seven course is promoted as the industry recognised award for professional dairy farm managers.

According to Teagasc, the programme is unique as it brings together an integrated team of highly specialised Teagasc staff, Moorepark research staff, dairy and financial specialists and input from guest lecturers.

Applicants to the course must possess a level six Advanced Certificate in Agriculture or an equivalent major agricultural award.

How will students learn?

Students who partake in the course will get hands-on experiences through their Professional Work Experience (PWE), while on-line and IT skills will also be taught during the two year course.

The programme will incorporate two years work experience on the most progressive dairy farms with the option to travel overseas.

The aim is to develop the managerial expertise and capacity of future farm managers. Graduates will be well equipped to manage their own commercial dairy farms or manage dairy enterprises of others.

Along with on-farm experience, students will be required to participate in monthly discussion group meetings, which will be lead by a Teagasc facilitator.

The programme will also incorporate approximately six weeks of contact modules. These modules will be delivered as one day, two day and five day courses, Teagasc says.

Delivery methods will include:
  • Class lectures
  • Workshops
  • Practical field sessions
  • Field trips
  • Designated conferences