Niall Laffan – Germinal Ireland


“I come from a small beef farm in Cashel, Co Tipperary. Growing up on a farm and in the countryside, I would have had an interest in agricultural science in school. I studied agricultural science in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). In my third-year co-op placement, I worked with Dairygold Co-op.

“After I graduated college in 2018, I started working for Dairygold in New Inn. In November 2020, I moved to Germinal Ireland. I’m a technical sales manager with Germinal and cover the southwest of Ireland.”

Job responsibilities

“Germinal is a wholesaler, so I deal with all the co-ops in Munster.

“My day-to-day role is exciting in one sense, because Germinal has a good focus on research and innovation, bringing forward new varieties of grass and new forest solutions to help farmers meet any climate issues and productivity challenges they face.

“I mainly do sales with all these merchants and co-ops in the southwest and inform them about our new products. I would also be talking at discussion groups and just handling farmers requests about new seeds.

“No two days are the same; you’re kind of meeting new people the whole time.”

Skills needed

“A lot of this job involves good communication skills, because you’re meeting a lot of people. You also need organisational skills, with so many different events on at times, and an overall flexibility within the job is required.”

Maria O’Halloran – Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Maria O'Halloran works for the Department of Agriculture.


“I come from a small beef farm in Listowel, north Co Kerry.

“After my Leaving Cert I did a PLC course in animal care. Then I went on to do four years of agricultural science in Institute of Technology Tralee (IT Tralee), now Munster Technological University (MTU).

“I chose the course because it was close to home for me. It was quite a broad, open degree and there were several different routes I could take after it as I wasn’t specialising in a certain area.

“I graduated in 2017 and then went on to work in the Department. I am based in the regional veterinary office (RVO) in Tralee, Co Kerry.”

Job responsibilities

“I am a technical agricultural officer within the eradication department.

“Every day is different. I like being out and about. I’m outdoors 80% of the time, which I am very lucky with. I am not an office nine-to-five kind of a person; I prefer being outdoors. I like meeting people, helping farmers within the Department of Agriculture and playing an important role within my field.”

Niall Diffley – Enterprise Ireland

Niall Diffley works for Enterprise Ireland.


“I’m from Lecarrow in south Roscommon.

“I grew up on a farm. We have 100 ewes and about 25 suckler cows.

“I studied food and agribusiness management in University College Dublin (UCD).

“I did a study abroad programme to Purdue University in Indiana for a semester. That kind of opened my eyes to the global aspect of the agriculture and food industry. I graduated in 2020.”

Job responsibilities

“I work as a market executive for Enterprise Ireland (EI) and am based in Austin, Texas. I am on the two-year graduate programme. EI has an intake of graduates every year on to its national and international programmes.

“I work with our Irish companies who are operating here in the US, mostly in the equine sector. I also work with companies in the agri-tech, agri-engineering and construction industries.

“My role is to help and assist them to grow and win export sales. It’s all about building relationships between Irish companies and potential partners in the US.

“What that means on the ground is gathering market information, looking at trends, introducing clients to potential buyers and trying to learn as much as possible and pass on that information to our clients.”

Skills needed

“You must be willing to accept a challenge and move outside your comfort zone.

“Being down-to-earth, genuinely curious, humble and seeing every conversation as an opportunity to learn more about the sector you’re in.”

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