Land sector education needs ‘likely to transform’ in the coming decades

Land sector education needs are likely to transform substantially in the coming decades, according to Teagasc.

The agriculture and food development authority recently completed an extensive consultation and review process on the future land sector education needs.

It found that new skills and responsibilities will be required going forward.

A report – entitled ‘Teagasc Education Vision – meeting future needs’ will be launched at a conference being organised by the authority.

The conference is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 5, in the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny.

Conference programme

The head of education at Teagasc, Tony Petit, indicated that the conference programme will outline key recommendations from the Teagasc Education Vision report.

As well as this, the programme will incorporate breakout seminars on topics including: workplace learning; lifelong learning; ‘smart agriculture’ implications; and gender diversity in land sector careers.

A panel discussion among graduates of Teagasc education courses regarding their education choices and career paths will be chaired by the presenter of RTE Radio 1’s CountryWide show Damien O Reilly.

Meanwhile, the importance of personal competence for young people taking up careers in a sector facing both significant opportunity and challenge will be explored by well-known broadcaster, writer and columnist, Dr. Maureen Gaffney.

Next generation

Teagasc recognises the importance of developing the capabilities of the next generation to succeed in a land sector where new technologies and sustainable farming pressures will be to the fore, according to the director of Teagasc, Prof. Gerry Boyle.

Continuing, he said: “New approaches to teaching and learning will be required to enable land-sector entrants to problem solve and adapt in a fast-changing world.

Learning is not just for the young however; developing lifelong learning opportunities and professional development routes for farmers and others in the land sector will be a greater priority for the future.

The conference is intended for farm families and the wider rural sector.

Teagasc claims that it will be of interest to people involved in agriculture, horticulture, equine, forestry and other land-based education and training.

The conference is free to attend, but booking is mandatory. Booking details are available online.