Dave Moloney, who won 2021 Teagasc student of the year competition, talks about his Green Cert course.

Dave says he was surprised to be named the 2021 Teagasc/FBD student of the year.

"I’ll admit that when I was younger, I was not a fan of the books at all,” he says.

“I left school at 16 and it was only when I started getting interested in the farm that I realised the Green Cert is a must.”

Dave Moloney.

Dave, who is now 34, contacted local Macroom Teagasc education officer Patrick Flannery and started the course, which involved one day per week and one evening in 2019.

“The group of 15 students got on really well together,” says Dave.

“If you have a passion for agriculture and farming, you’re going to be interested, but the course deliverers do make the content interesting.

“I was always picking up something to use on the beef farm at home. I loved the practical work at the college - weighing and assessing the weights of cattle.”

Dave says he buys in calves, yearlings and stores. Once finished, they go to the ABP factory in Bandon.

“We have everything from Belgian Blue to Speckled Parks, though Hereford and Angus are the most common. We aim to change to a system where some animals are ready to go to the factory each month.

'It wasn’t anything like school'

“It wasn’t anything like school,” says Dave. “I never thought exams and paperwork were my strongest suit, but I really like the business course and the communications in the Green Cert. The teachers were not pushy, but explained things really well.”

Dave says he finally decided to join the course when his fiancée said she would do a course in her profession at the same time.

“I’d say if you have an interest in farming, definitely do it,” says Dave. “My only regret is that I didn’t do it years ago!”

Upcoming college open days

Mountbellew Agricultural College, Mountbellew, Co Galway

Wednesday 5 October 2022 , 10.00am to 12.30pm.

Teagasc Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Ballyhaise, Co Cavan

Friday 7 October 2022 , 10.00am to 1.00pm.

Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College, Clonakilty, Co Cork

Friday 7 October 2022, 11.00am to 1.00pm.

Teagasc Kildalton College, Piltown, Co Kilkenny

Friday 7 October 2022 , tours start at 10.00am and 11.00am.

Gurteen College, Ballingarry, Roscrea, Co Tipperary

Friday 14 October 2022, 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, National Botanic Gardens

Thursday 13 October 2022 , noon to 3.00pm.

Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, Co Limerick

Saturday 5 November 2022, 11.00am to 1.00pm.

To find out more about the upcoming Teagasc college open days or to learn more about your education options with Teagasc, visit https://www.teagasc.ie/education/.