Training programme launched for young farmers

Macra na Feirme hopes to encourage more young people to get involved in agriculture

Rural youth organisation Macra na Feirme has launched a new training programme for young farmers called 'Farm Cert,' to encourage more young people to get involved in the agricultural sector.

The programme will include business, technical and personal training modules, including training in business planning, farm safety, study of the meat market and energy efficiency on the farm.

The number of young farmers has fallen steadily by 17.5 per cent between the last two census reports in 2011 and 2006, with the number of farmers under 35 falling from 16,322 to 13,454.

This decrease is also reflected in the demand for third-level agricultural and horticultural courses applied for with the CAO, which fell almost 19 per cent for level 8 courses and almost 23 per cent for level 6 and 7 courses.


Macra na Feirme president Seán Finan said that only 7 per cent of farmers are under 35, and that there has been a realisation of the need for “new blood” in the industry.

Mr Finan said the new training programme is a way of helping farmers to “up-skill” and is one way the youth organisation is bringing more young people into the industry.

“We’re organising different events and activities, and this is an example of getting more young farmers trained up,” he said.

“While we will initially focus upon 3 counties or regions, it is our intention to roll out this new service nationally after the first year”.

For more information see