Continuous education and training is key to staying ahead of the game where farming and agriculture is concerned, according to YFCU President, James Speers.
These comments were made as the President looks ahead to the incoming year for applications to the Basic Payment Scheme.
James said: “A level II certificate in agriculture is presently listed as an eligibility requirement for those applying to the Young Farmers’ and Regional Reserve Schemes, which are included within the terms of the Basic Payment Scheme.”
James went on to highlight courses available through CAFRE.
“CAFRE provide a range of courses tailored to suit the needs of farmers in Northern Ireland; including the part time Agricultural Business Operations course. This runs for one evening per week over a period of 20 weeks and returns a level II certificate which satisfies the eligibility criteria for the Basic Payment Scheme.”
The Basic Payment Scheme is a valuable subsidy paid to farmers which helps enable the production of sustainable farm produce.
James notes: “It is encouraging to see the influence of young farmers recognised through the Young Farmers’ and Regional Reserve Schemes which supports those commencing agricultural activity.”
“Over the past number of years there has been a positive uptake in the number of young farmers who are registering for and completing courses to gain level II qualifications in agriculture. These courses train the next generation of young farmers’ in a variety of areas such as farm business management, dairying, sheep, beef and crops.”
“It is hugely important that as young farmers we are aware of the changing landscape of farming and agriculture in Northern Ireland. Education is key to improving efficiency on farm. As young farmers’ we appreciate the need for training courses which acknowledge our skills and competencies as farmers, businessmen and women and custodians of the countryside,” said James.
Concluding the YFCU President remarked: “Education delivers for the entire farming supply chain. It enhances producer knowledge, improves business efficiency and profitability in turn. Therefore, I would encourage interested young farmers’ to consider registering for this part-time course. It is a great opportunity to gain the desired qualification which will return a top up on Basic Payment Scheme payments for five years following successful approval.”
Enrolment is now open for courses commencing in October 2018 and will close on Thursday 23rd August 2018. To enrol visit: https://os.cafre.ac.uk/website/cafreols/default.aspx