Agriculture college to offer organic farming course

MOUNTBELLOW, Ireland, August 6, 2003: Mountbellew Agriculture College in Co Galway has announced plans to offer a new course on organic farming. The program will be available to students beginning this fall.

The two-year course, accredited by the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC), is designed for people who want a career in organic farming. The course is equivalent to the existing Vocational Certificate in Agriculture and has the same recognition as a qualification for young farmers.

The course will combine classroom sessions and practical training and will include work on the organic demonstration farm run by Teagasc near Athenry. During their first-year, students will spend half their days in the fields and half their days in the classroom taking courses on soils and plants, animal and crop production, machinery, the environment, farm buildings, personal development and health and safety.

During their second-year, students will spend 36 weeks on paid work experience on an approved training farm where they will learn management and develop competence in the skills associated with their chosen specialty. An additional eight weeks are spent on course work at Mountbellew.