Tirlán suppliers and customers can apply to study for a diploma under the fully-funded Sustainable Farming Academy.

The academy allows 20 farmers to study for a diploma in Environment, Sustainability and Climate at University College Cork.

The course is delivered mainly online with practical days and it is designed to fit in with work on the farm.

Testimonies from participants

At present, the first participants in this programme are finishing up their final term on the course, which is funded by Tirlán and Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur.

Modules included in the diploma are: Earth Science, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Ecology, Applied Geographical Information Systems, Environmental Protection and Practical Environmental Management.

“The aim of the Academy is to support Irish farming communities in addressing environmental, economic and social challenges by giving them the skills and knowledge to farm more sustainably,” Tirlán director of ingredients Aoife Murphy stated.

Amanda Mooney, one of this year’s participants, said: “Being part of the first ever group to take part in the Sustainable Farming Academy is probably the best thing I’ve ever done for me personally and to future-proof our family farm.

“There isn’t a farmer out there who doesn’t want to farm more sustainably; it’s very much at the fore.

"Education is key and I see a very bright future for the Academy. The issue won’t be getting farmers to do it – it’ll be finding the spaces for everyone who will want to complete the programme.”

Eamon Sheehan, another participant, stated: “I’d definitely recommend the Academy to other farmers. Sustainability is an issue that isn’t going to go away.

"We all have a part to play. We’re all undertaking science-based research to improve what we do at farm level and we want to leave our farms in a better way for the next generation.”

Applications for the programme are now open.