Teagasc appoints new advisory regional managers

It has been announced that Teagasc has appointed two new advisory regional managers for Co. Mayo and for the Sligo/Leitrim/Donegal region.

These managers lead the delivery of Teagasc advisory services to farmers and the delivery of educational courses in the regional education centres.

Galway native Vivian Silke has taken up the new position in Co. Mayo, while James Keane has moved to manage the Sligo/Leitrim/Donegal region.

Coming from a farming background in north Co. Galway, Silke has most recently worked as a cattle knowledge transfer specialist with Teagasc – covering the west and midlands region.

Having taken up the role in October 2017, Silke helped cattle farmers and the wider beef industry to increase the adoption of technology at farm level to improve performance on farms, his employer explained.

He has worked with Teagasc research teams, with advisors and specialists, to develop the Teagasc beef programme. During 2016 and 2017, Silke coordinated the Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP) training courses nationwide.

Having previously worked as a Teagasc business and technology drystock advisor in both counties Galway and Clare, Silke began his career with Teagasc in 2000.

Vivian Silke has been appointed to manage Co. Mayo

Initially, he was based in Athenry where he worked on the Galway Cattle Development Programme in conjunction with the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and livestock marts in Co. Galway.

Silke holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science from University College Dublin (UCD) and also completed a Master’s Degree in Reproductive Physiology. As well as this, he received a Higher Diploma in Financial Management from WIT in 2006.

Speaking following his appointment, Silke said: “I am really looking forward to working with the farming community in Co. Mayo.

“We have a strong team of advisors in the county and there are some great progressive farmers in the region doing a really good job in beef, sheep and dairying.

The preservation and maintenance of family farms in the west of Ireland is crucial and Teagasc will work with all agencies to ensure this.

“Our education courses are well-run with the emphasis on the practical knowledge of farming; this will provide a solid group of well-trained farmers in the region – which should maintain family farms and rural communities into the future,” he said.

New beginnings

Meanwhile, James Keane – who was previously the regional manager in Co. Mayo – has moved to take over from Ben Wilkinson in the Sligo/Leitrim/Donegal region.

James Keane will take up his new role in the Sligo/Leitrim/Donegal region

Wilkinson has retired after “a long and distinguished career with Teagasc”.

Keane was the regional manager in Co. Mayo for the past year, having worked previously as a cattle knowledge transfer specialist in Teagasc covering the west and midlands region.

Coming from a farming background in Co. Leitrim, Keane qualified with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science from UCD and then completed a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science.

He began his career with Teagasc in 2001. Initially, Keane was based in Co. Cavan and more recently as a Teagasc business and technology drystock advisor in Co. Longford.