New forestry module launched by Teagasc

A new forestry module in the Teagasc Certificate in Agriculture Programme was launched last Friday, September 21, at the National Ploughing Championships.

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle, officially launched the the module at Teagasc’s stand in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, last week.

Along with other forestry course components, this module will be delivered by the newly-appointed Teagasc forestry liaison officer, Richard Walsh.

Walsh completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Wood Science and Technology at the University of Limerick in 2013. He also obtained a Master of Science degree in Forestry at the University of Aberdeen in 2014.

He has recently undertaken a PhD in Forestry with Teagasc and the University of Aberdeen.

His research investigated the potential and the role of minor coniferous species available for commercial forestry on marginal agricultural land.

Walsh is set to assist in the development and delivery of forestry education, as well as raising awareness in the agricultural education awards system and other relevant sectors.

In launching the new forestry module, Minister Doyle said that the forestry option can provide “multiple benefits” as a complementary enterprise on the farm.

On-farm opportunities

He remarked that it is “very timely and appropriate” that this additional forestry module is now available to raise awareness of on-farm opportunities for the young farmers of the future.

Frank Murphy – Teagasc’s curriculum development and standards unit manager – outlined how the Teagasc education pathways are evolving.

In welcoming the additional forestry module, he said: “Significant enhancements across the Teagasc Education Programme have come into effect in 2018.

“These changes include an introduction to all the major farm enterprises, including the farm-forestry option.”