Thomas Curran has been appointed as the new head of the Teagasc advisory service, with Teagasc approving the appointment on Tuesday.
Curran will lead the Teagasc advisory service, which is delivered to farmers nationwide by a team of agricultural advisers, managed through a network of over 50 Teagasc offices across 12 advisory regions.
The advisory service is part of the knowledge transfer directorate headed up by Dr Stan Lalor.
Curran is an agricultural scientist who graduated from University College Dublin with a bachelor of agricultural science. He went on to complete his research masters in agricultural science, also at UCD.
He has completed a leadership development programme with the Irish Management Institute and has also completed a management development programme.
Curran is currently regional advisory manager in Teagasc Cork west, a position he has held since 2019.
Prior to that, he was a collaborative farming specialist for six years and led the development and promotion of collaborative farming business structures including farm partnerships, contract heifer rearing, contract cropping, cow leasing, share farming, long-term land leasing, machinery and labour sharing and rider/breeder contracts in the sport horse industry.
In his earlier career, he worked as a Teagasc business and technology dairy adviser in Dunmanway, Skibbereen and Clonakilty in Co Cork. He also worked as a REPS planner for Teagasc during the 1990s.
Curran said it is a very exciting time facing the advisory service in Teagasc, as it prepares and supports farmers for a modern and dynamic farming and food sector.
“In particular, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to address the economic, environmental and social sustainability challenges facing the sector.
"Farming this year is dominated by farm input and output price volatility, so careful business and financial planning by farmers is more important than ever.”
Dr Stan Lalor said Curran brings a wealth of experience from a variety of technical and leadership roles he has held in Teagasc, leading many initiatives and joint programmes.
“Teagasc continue[s] to focus on supporting all farmers, industry stakeholders and partners in the ongoing sustainable development of the farming and agri-food sector in the context of food production requirements and opportunities, and the priorities within Ireland’s CAP strategic plan and Food Vision 2030 ambitions,” he said.
Dr Lalor also acknowledged the outgoing head of advisory service Dermot McCarthy, who retired from the role earlier this year.