Young farmers who have applied for National Reserve Scheme (NRS) and Young Farmer Scheme (YFS) in 2015 need to enrol in a Green Cert, or equivalent programme before the end of December. 

To facilitate this, Teagasc will open ‘commencement sessions’ of its 2016 courses before the end of December.

This means that anyone who has applied to start a Green Cert course in 2016, will be able to enrol in the Teagasc commencement session for this course before the end of 2015.

Teagasc and the Department of Agriculture confirmed the requirement to commence a Green Cert, or equivalent programme, affects scheme applicants who have not already obtained or commenced the required agricultural qualification.

Teagasc believes that it will require an additional 1,200 places for these applicants adding to the already increasing demand for Green Cert programme places, which has increased 10 fold over the past year.

As a result of this increased interest, Teagasc and the Department of Agriculture are working closely to secure additional temporary staff to facilitate the required enrolment of 2015 applicants.

According to Teagasc, the Department of Agriculture is immediately writing to the farmers concerned advising them to contact their education provider in regard to this education requirement.

These applicants will be notified of course commencement sessions for mid-December.

However, it added that due to the extraordinary level of pent-up demand there is very limited flexibility in regard to course locations, schedules and when they will take place.

Teagasc has also said that the standard student contribution charges for the Teagasc Green Cert will apply.

Meanwhile, Macra is calling for the fees that these students pay be nominal as young farmers were, up to now, of the understanding that they would be enrolling some time before September 2016 and incurring the fees at that later date.

All young farmers who have applied for the young farmer top-up and national reserve in 2015 need to make sure that they have registered and started their agricultural education in 2015, said Macra’s Bryan Hayes.

“This is a change from the previous understanding and has been clarified by the Department of Agriculture only yesterday (Tuesday).

“There are about 1,200 young farmers who have yet to register for agricultural education and they now must also have started this education in 2015”, said the Chair of Macra’s Agricultural Affairs Committee.