In this week’s Career Focus segment, That’s Farming discusses Ballyhaise Agricultural College, its farm, and array of courses.
Ballyhaise Agriculture College, was founded in 1906 at the former Ballyhaise House, which is over 300-years-old. There are rooms for rent at the college, or students can rent 1km away.
Teagasc runs the college, which is located 8km north of Cavan town and spans 220 hectares of grassland and forestry.
The college uses 50 hectares of forestry for practical work for the Level 5 and Level 6 Forestry courses and Dundalk Institute of Technology joint courses.
The sheep unit on the farm has various types of housing and handling facilities for its 230 ewes. The college has divided the flock into 80 early lambs and 150 ewes that lamb in mid-March.
The college carries approximately 200 cattle, and finishes 100 annually.
The dairy enterprise consists of 120 spring-calving cows and replacements. The 50-hectare farm is part of the Teagasc Moorepark Dairy Research programme since 2003.
The college milks cows in a 12-unit herringbone parlour with an automatic drafting system. Other facilities present include a slatted house, calving and isolation boxes and an outdoor pad.
Furthermore, the farm is also home to a 60-strong spring-calving suckler herd. They keep replacements, and bring all other subsequent progent through to beef.
Level 5 and level 6 courses
Ballyhaise Agricultural College offers Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture and Level 6 Advanced Certificate courses in the following specifications:
- Dairy herd management;
- Drystock herd management;
- Agricultural mechanisation;
- Pig management;
- Poultry management.
These further education courses are for two years.
Candidates who wish to apply for the Teagasc Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture Programme should do so online through the state agency’s website. Students must be over 17-years of age.
Level 6 applications for courses that commence in September 2021 opened in mid-February 2021.
Besides, the college also offers a Level 5 Certificate in Forestry and a Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Forestry in conjunction with DkIT.
After completing these courses, students may progress to higher-level courses.
Students can progress onto the BSc in Agriculture or BSc in Sustainable Agriculture, delivered in conjunction with Dundalk Institute of Technology, or undertake many similar courses in the country.
Alternatively, students can also apply directly to these level 7 and 8 courses through the CAO, with points (entry requirements) generally ranging from 300-310.
The level 7 is a three-year course, and students can complete a fourth year to obtain a level 8 qualification (four years in total).
Part-time Green Cert
Ballyhaise Agricultural College also runs a part-time day release Green Certificate courses. Applicants must be 23-years-old, or above to enrol in this course.
Graduates of the course can progress to a Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture programme if they wish, or apply for entry to linked courses at Institutes of Technology.
Furthermore, the agriculture college provides the Teagasc Distance Education Green Cert for non-agricultural award holders.
Applicants must be a holder of a Level 6 or higher major award in a non-agricultural discipline.
They must also have continuous access to a commercial farm of a home farm or approved nominated farm in the Republic of Ireland, to develop proficiency in farm tasks and complete farm-based assignment and or projects.
They must have access to all farm details, such as financial details, and are expected to be involved in the farm’s management and spend time there weekly.
Welfare of Animals During Transport
Another course offered in Ballyhaise Agricultural College is Welfare of Animals During Transport. This course leads to a Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine Cert of Competence for the Protection of Animals during Transport in line with EU Regulation.
You can apply online through Teagasc’s website.