Following its success last January, Macra Agricultural Skillnet is delighted to be running its business training programme again this year, delivered online by Lynaire Ryan and Paidí Kelly over two evenings on 19 and 26 July.

This course is for partners who are physically involved and those who can still play an important role in the business.

One of the biggest factors in a successful farming family is couples working together to determine the direction of their life and business.

This success factor is underutilised in Irish dairy farming, as many partners are working off-farm, busy in the home, or not interested in working physically on the farm.

However, it does not require a huge amount of time to make a positive contribution to the business – just carefully planned time, focused on the right areas.

The course will help participants to define their roles in the business, to explore ways of understanding and contributing to the farm and how to implement strategic planning and governance into the business. There will be contributions from guest speakers who have successfully developed a role for themselves and made significant contributions to their profitable business.

Visit, where you can book and pay for your course and contact Lynaire at or Páidí at or 087-774 4656 for more course information.

Now in its second year, there are still some places available on the graduate programme, which is ideally positioned to support SMEs who may not have the capacity to develop their own graduate programmes. Macra Agricultural Skillnet and UCC has collaborated to offer an exceptional, significantly subsidised graduate programme.

This agri-food-specific graduate development programme, which leads to a Level 7 diploma in leadership for the agri-food sector, offers a valuable bridge between third level and working life and will provide relevant business, management, leadership and professional development skills to young graduates in SMEs, without burdening companies with the expense of developing an in-house programme.

This programme is designed for graduates who are working in an SME agri-food company and have the ambition and motivation to develop their core management skills. It will equip them to meet the management and leadership development needs of young agri-food graduates in the first three years of their working life.

Alongside the core technical business skills and best practice tools, the programme will equip participants with motivation and coaching skills that will enhance their professional identity and capability.

As a result of this programme, participants will be able to embrace new challenges and help to grow and have a lasting impact on their company in this fast-paced industry.

For further information and registration, contact Deirdre Hilliard, Food Industry Training Unit, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, UCC, by phone at +353-21-490 3273 or +353-86-383 0011, or email