Well now might be the time to follow that path and apply for a place at Clonakilty Agricultural College.
Applications are open across the range of courses that are offered by the College. Whether you are a school-leaver, sitting your Leaving Certificate, or looking for a new opportunity, there is a course to suit everyone’s needs, and you don’t need to come from a farming background to apply.
‘A significant number of our students come from backgrounds that wouldn’t have a farm at home’, says Keith Kennedy, Principal, Clonakilty Agricultural College, and he encourages anyone who has an interest in farming to apply.
The first course on offer is the two-year Level 5/6 Advanced Certificate where students can specialise in dairy or drystock management. Applications can be made online from now until June 30th, and the only criteria is that the student turns 17 by the end of 2021. This course starts in September and puts a big emphasis on outdoor practical skills, with students getting the opportunity to go on work placement with host farmers.
‘Students in the Level 5 and 6 courses are eligible for the means tested student maintenance grant’, adds Keith.
Graduates of the Level 6 course can apply to the Level 7 Farm Apprenticeship, where they work with one or two farmers over the course of two years.
They can also apply to the Level 8 BSc in Agriculture, which is run in conjunction with Munster Technological University (MTU) Cork. This course can also be applied to through the CAO.
‘We also run a Level 8 BSc in Agricultural Science in conjunction with MTU Kerry which is applied to through the CAO’, says Keith.
For those who are interested in farming but have a non-agricultural Level 6 or higher qualification, the Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate in Farming is a distance education course which combines self-directed learning with 20 attendance days, spread out over 20 months. There are limited places, and it is first come, first served.
‘We are also launching our part-time Level 6 Certificate in Farming in early April in conjunction with the Teagasc Advisory Unit in Cork West and is open to over 23s. It is held over two years and students attend for one day and one evening per week’.
‘All courses run at Clonakilty Agricultural College entitle students to a Green Cert on completion’, adds Keith.
With a range of livestock, practical training facilities and farm vehicles on campus, students get a hands-on experience no matter which course they’re doing.
Information about the courses can be found at www.teagasc.ie/clonakilty or by calling 023-8832500.