Second version of Confirmation of Education form available

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has made a second version of the Confirmation of Education form for students who won’t be able to complete their courses due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The form (Version B) has been made available in recent days on the online applications system on the department’s website.

The form will specify that prospective applicants to the Young Farmers Scheme and National Reserve were due to have completed all aspects of the Green Cert before the May 15 deadline to qualify for those schemes.

The form will outline that the completion of the course has been extended due to Covid-19, and it will be stamped and signed by the course provider to confirm this.

The prospective applicant will also sign the form on the understanding that their application will not be officially finalised until their certificate is submitted to the department.

This decision has been welcomed by Macra na Feirme, with the organisation’s Agricultural Affairs chairperson John Keane saying: “Anything that alleviates stress on young farmers is definitely welcome – they have enough challenges right now during this crisis”.

Flexibility on the Green Cert has been an issue that had already been raised this week. Brian Rushe, the deputy president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), said that, with colleges closed, completing several aspects of the course will be difficult.

Speaking earlier this week, Rushe commented that this “flexibility” is “all the more important” given the deadline of May 15 for young farmers to qualify for the National Reserve, Young Farmer Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) top-up, additional Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) grants and “vital tax reliefs”.