Innovation is the ability to think and act differently. Every successful business uses its innovative capacity to maximise results. The Irish farming community needs to think and act differently to harvest the potential of the sector.

The DCU Ryan Academy Farm Entrepreneurship & Leadership Programme is designed to deliver real business skills and tools for enterprising farmers to use immediately in their own existing farm business. The series of 7 workshops develop capability through modules such as, Business Planning & Strategy, Risk Management, Project Management, Financial Management and Ethics & Succession Planning.

With the advent of Harvest 2020, which reinforces the need for good business planning and the Rural Development Programme indicating that the focus of future funding schemes being on producers who have potential for growth and competitiveness, there has never been a more important time for those in the farming community to obtain key entrepreneurial skills . Teagasc and the Department of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries have emphasised the importance of accredited business training programmes. The Farm Entrepreneurship & Leadership Programme is accredited by FETAC at level 6.

The Academy has confirmed that the 20 available places on the programme commencing on October 9th are filling fast.

The DCU Ryan Academy is recognised as delivering best practice in focused practical programmes where participants understand the potential of not only their business but themselves. The Farm Entrepreneurship & Leadership Programme delivers modules which allow the participants to recognise their own entrepreneurial capabilities through modules in Entrepreneurship & Innovation for Sustainable Business, Opportunity Recognition & Assessment & Marketing.

Through working with other farmers on the programme, the format of the workshops will allow participants to recognise and improve their own capabilities as a leader in the agri-sector via networking and modules in Leadership & Communication and Leadership & Management.

The focus of all DCU Ryan Academy programmes is entirely practical and focused on results. Wexford based Killowen Farm, a Great Taste Awards winner for their fabulous yogurt, is a wonderful example of successful farming innovation. Since 2012, Killowen have collaborated with the Academy and the tools developed in the Academy have assisted them greatly in areas of marketing and the understanding of their business landscape. Their marketing manager, Helen Meade, stated, “tools such as the business model canvas and innovative market research techniques, delivered on the Academy’s programmes, have proved invaluable in our understanding of our variable customers’ needs, our value propositions to meet their needs and how to do so most effectively. Killowen Farm is among a number of innovative and proactive contributors to the programme which demonstrate innovation in action.

The next Farm Entrepreneurship & Leadership Programme will commence on October 9th in DCU Ryan Academy and run over 7 weeks concluding on November 28th. There are a maximum of 20 places available. For further information log on to or call Anne Marie at 01 7006764.