County Waterford native Thomas Curran has been appointed as Teagasc regional advisory manager for the West Cork region. Teagasc managers lead the delivery of advisory services to farmers and the delivery of educational courses in the regional education centres. Tom, who would be familiar to West Cork farmers, had his appointment approved at the Teagasc Authority meeting last week.
From a farming background, Tom Curran began his career in Teagasc as an agricultural advisor in Dungarvan before moving on to spend 14 years as an advisor in West Cork, working out of Skibbereen, Dunmanway, Bandon and Clonakilty.
In the last five years, he has worked as a Teagasc Farm Business Structures Specialist, where he focused on the development and promotion of collaborative farming business structures. These include: farm partnerships, share farming, contract heifer rearing, cow leasing, contract cropping, long-term land leasing while also developing significant expertise in farm succession and inheritance.
Over the last two years, he has led the development of Ireland’s first machinery sharing co-operative in collaboration with ICOS, while also developing a national discussion group strategy to increase the capacity for contract heifer rearing between dairy and drystock farmers.
Mr Curran qualified with a BAgr Sc degree from UCD in 1996. He went on to complete a Masters through the Walsh Fellowship programme. More recently he completed a postgraduate in Leadership Development in the Irish Management Institute.
Speaking following his appointment, Tom said: ‘I am delighted to take up the Teagasc management role in the West Cork region and look forward to working closely with the farming community and the agri-food sector in the region. We have a strong team of advisors who are working hard to support economically, socially and environmentally-sustainable family farms in West Cork.
‘We are also supporting the development of current and future farmers through the delivery of education and training courses designed to provide them with the skills and knowledge to equip them for a successful and fulfilling future in farming.’
The vacancy in West Cork arose following the retirement of Billy Kelleher as Teagasc regional manager in the Cork East region. John Horgan moves from West Cork to manage the Teagasc advisory service in East Cork.
Professor Tom Kelly, Director of Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc, congratulated Thomas Curran on his appointment and thanked Billy Kelleher for his dedication and commitment to the Teagasc advisory service during his long career and for the help, assistance and wisdom he delivered to farmers in the areas he worked.