Farmers assisted in making the transition online

Over 5,000 rural dwellers have been assisted in making the transition online, courtesy of basic computer training courses hosted by Irish Rural Link in recent years. The basic computer skills training is provided as part of the ‘Getting Citizens Online’ programme.

1,200 farmers have availed of IT skills training – which covers basic computer skills such as setting up email and online banking, as well as herd registration and herd movement – since June 2017. Both courses are provided free of charge.

The overall aim of the initiatives is to encourage people to make the transition to conducting their business online. The IT skills training is designed to provide farmers who have never used the internet with the confidence, motivation and skills to reap the benefits of participating in today’s digital world.

Training is provided by qualified computer tutors who are fully equipped with ‘Train the Trainer’ training on by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The IT skills for farmers’ training takes place over a five-week period with one two-hour classes per week. Classes are run nationally and mainly in the evenings, tailored to the availability of farmers.

The programme is funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Training is taking place at:

  • Tuam GRD office, Tuam;
  • Ballinasloe GRD Office;
  • Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry;
  • Glenamaddy old tech school, Galway;
  • Menlo Community Hall, Galway;
  • Tullamore library, Offaly;
  • Portlaoise library;
  • Mountmellick library;
  • Stradbally library;
  • New Ross, Co. Wexford;
  • Gorey, Co. Wexford;
  • Mullingar library, Co. Westmeath; and
  • Claremorris, Co. Mayo.

New venues are being added all the time.

Confidence grown

The feedback from farmers attending the classes has been positive, according to training co-ordinator, Mary Keys Cornally.

“I have really enjoyed the classes,” said Jim from Mayo.

I have made new friends within the farming community and realised there are a lot of people in the same boat as me. My confidence has really grown.

John, from Co. Galway, said: “Farming is such an isolating job, I really look forward to going to the classes every week, meeting up with people and connecting with family on Skype and email.

I was fascinated when I finally got into my agri-food account and saw all my information at the touch of a button.

For further information, contact the training co-ordinator Mary on: 090-6482744; or email: [email protected]