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Want to work on the Department’s farm?

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is hiring a rural general operative to work on its farm in Raphoe, Co. Donegal.

To be eligible for the position at Tops Farms, candidates must have;

  • A thorough knowledge of farming as practiced in Ireland;
  • Ability to drive tractors and manage farm machinery;
  • Excellent stockmanship and organisational skills;
  • Good team working and communication skills;
  • Flexibility and initiative;
  • A full driving licence for tractors and cars Desirable Requirements;
  • Driving licence in category EB (car trailer);
  • Have a formal qualification in agriculture.


Rural general operatives will be required to carry out a number of duties which include some / all of the following:

  • Driving tractors and vans;
  • Operation of farm machinery;
  • Operation of certain hand-held motorised equipment;
  • Daily checks on vehicles to include oil levels, coolant, tyre pressure and visual inspection;
  • Reporting of any irregularities/defects for repair, ensuring vehicles/trailers are roadworthy;
  • Feeding of animals, assisting with movement of animals, tending to sick and injured animals;
  • Advising whether animals need veterinary care and attending to vet when called;
  • Routine animal care (foot care, dipping, dosing, dehorning etc.), tagging of stock;
  • Mucking out animal accommodation, moving fodder and bedding around;
  • Milking cows, feeding stock, moving stock to fresh pasture, assisting with annual fodder harvesting and baling hay and straw;
  • Ground maintenance, cleaning yards, power washing sheds and machines;
  • Fencing, checking fences for loss of power;
  • Inspecting stock daily to ensure their presence, health and welfare;
  • Record-keeping, compiling daily and monthly stock sheets and fertiliser book;
  • Transport of goods and samples for the laboratory;
  • Act as substitute for laboratory attendant driver when required.

Order of merit

Following an assessment process, candidates who achieve the qualifying standard will be placed on an order of merit from which one appointment will be made, according to the job listing.

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The post will be offered to the candidate ranked first and, if refused, to the remaining candidates in sequence until the post is filled.

While it is anticipated that only one appointment will be made as a result of this competition, the order of merit will remain in place for a period of up to two years from the date of the first appointment, or until exhausted, and will be used to fill further vacancies, if any, that may arise during that period, the DAFM added.

Probationary period

Appointments are to an un-established, full time, position as rural general operative in the Civil Service and will be subject to a probationary period of one year.

Rural general operatives, the post added, must comply with the duties of employees as defined under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

They must comply in full with all safety, health and welfare directions, policies and instructions issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine either centrally or by their line manager.

Special equipment, as required, will be provided by the Department to carry out the various duties.

All staff are provided with the necessary training including health and safety training and the necessary personal protective clothing for the tasks to be carried out.

Familiarity with the equipment and procedures is not necessary as training is provided; personal protective clothing must be worn as directed.

How to apply

Application forms may be downloaded here.

One hard copy of application forms must be submitted –  Applications must be submitted no later than 4pm on Wednesday July 22nd, 2020 to; Ann Marie Phelan, Competitions & Recruitment Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Eir Building, Old Knockmay Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois, R32YK81.

Applications will not be accepted after this date, the Department outlined.

Image source: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Twitter

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