Farm partnerships and share farming were highlighted at a recent Teagasc open day at Clonakility Agricultural College in Co. Cork.

The event was hosted by students of the Fetac Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Dairy Herd Management.

With many of these students returning home to farm with their parents, the family partnership is an ideal way to integrate them into the business, Teagasc says.

Teagasc Collaborative Farming Specialist, Tom Curran, said that the family partnership has proven to be a great success in giving the young trained farmer a recognised role in the management of the family farm.

It also serves as a transition structure until such time as the family are in a position to transfer the farm over fully.

For those not returning home to farm on a family farm, the open day provided an opportunity for students to show the opportunities such as share farming that are available to them on completing their education, Teagasc says.

Billy Kelleher, Teagasc Regional Advisory Manager in Cork West, said that Teagasc offers a unique combination of Education, Advice and Research to Irish farmers.

“Young farmers will benefit greatly from having contact with Teagasc Advisory services and with Teagasc research initiatives, during and after completing their agricultural education.

“Education is a lifelong process and learning must continue to be part of every young farmer’s career plan, during their farming lifetime. Discussion groups and farm events are ideal methods of furthering education for young farmers,” he said.

Head of Education in Teagasc, Tony Pettit, says that Teagasc views education as a priority investment for a successful competitive and sustainable Irish dairy farming sector.

With milk quotas abolished there will be a fundamental shift in Irish dairy production.

“There will be more career opportunities in dairy farming for herd managers and farm managers and entry routes to dairy farm ownership though partnerships,” he said.

The open day was for parents of the students, who also demonstrated the knowledge and skills learned during the Level 6 course.