This course was set up to provide young dairy farmers with “a high level of technical, financial and supervisory skills”. Graduates of the programme were trained with the skills to manage their own farm, enter a shared farming arrangement or to work as farm managers.

This programme provided the students with two years of professional work experience on Ireland’s most progressive dairy farms, and also included the option to work abroad on dairy farms in New Zealand and other countries for four months.

“This course is designed to provide young dairy farmers with the necessary technical and management skills to manage a large dairy farm business.” said Tony Pettit, head of education programme, Teagasc.

This course was created because Food Harvest 2020 recommended that additional education opportunities be provided for future farm managers. It is described as a “unique blend of hands-on experience based learning on top commercial dairy farms, combined with the input of Teagasc Moorepark dairy researchers, dairy knowledge transfer specialists and Teagasc education staff.”

The abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015 will provide more employment and career opportunities for those who want to pursue a career in dairy farming.

The diplomas were presented to the graduates by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD.