The Share Farming Agreement is a way of bringing young people into agriculture and dairy farming and it also brings an opportunity for people who want to get out of farming, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes said at its launch.

His own brother went through the Farm Apprenticeship Scheme, he told the audience at the launch of the Share Farming Agreement in Tipperary.

He said the Farm Managers Association, who launched the Agreement with Teagasc have had a huge impact on agriculture in changing times.

“The professionalism it brought to agriculture and the leadership that was given and that is clearly one of the great things about the Farm Apprenticeship Scheme.”

Agriculture is changing, he said, and one of the aims of Food Harvest FH2020 was to get new people involved in agriculture.

Agriculture was not as popular as it is today, but the economic downturn saw a realisation that Ireland has to have agriculture as its number 1 earner for the economy, he said.

The quality of Irish agriculture produce, he said, needs to be high and to keep the quality and production levels high, we need good young people in the industry, he said.