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Also Known As
- Agricultural Adviser
- Agricultural Consultant
- Farming Adviser
The work of an Agricultural Advisor involves the formulation, implementation and monitoring of an agricultural/rural development plan for a specific rural base area. They also give advice and support to those involved in agribusiness and production.
The work of the Agricultural Advisor involves working with farmers and agri-businesses to develop agriculture related activities in a particular part of the country.
In addition to the traditional farming enterprises, such as cattle, sheep, tillage and dairying, newer areas such as farm forestry, horticulture , alternative enterprises and rural or community development have increased in importance.
The Advisor will work with people through on-farm visits, group discussions, office and phone consultation and a variety of formal and informal training programmes. Local radio and press are important methods used in reaching a larger audience. Meetings seminars, classes, farm demonstrations and group sessions also play a major role in the day-to-day work of an advisor.
In addition to the above, an Agricultural Advisor will, in the course of his/her work play a major role in making essential information available on:-
- EU Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development schemes and programmes
- Environmental management and planning
- Environmental training programmes
- Cereal and livestock area aid schemes
- Alternative enterprise development
- Community Leadership
- Quality food assurance schemes
- Formal training courses
Agriculture Advisors frequently play a vital role in farm planning, for those who wish to participate in schemes or programmes and also assist farmers in completing applications or preparing maps.
Personal Qualities and Skills
You will need practical experience and a sound knowledge of farm management. In addition, communication skills, both written and spoken, including the ability to persuade and influence, are important. You will need to have a commercial outlook because agricultural advisers/consultants sell their services, as well as computer literacy. A driving licence is very useful.
Pay and Opportunities
Most candidates are expected to be graduates. Employers will include Teagasc, agri-business organizations, private consultancies and co-operatives. Experienced advisers can be self-employed. Salaries vary from company to company but should start in the region of EUR25k a year.
Entry Routes and Training
Employers will expect a degree in agriculture, horticulture, agricultural science, agricultural engineering or land and property management. Course are available throughout the country and candidates should check with the individual institutions as to course content and entry requirements.
Teagasc also run relevant courses details of which can be found on their website.
A very good practical knowledge of farming and agribusiness, while not essential, is advantageous for intending degree course participants.
Rural Development advisory positions may be filled by graduates from a variety of degree courses but will usually require undergraduate or postgraduate training in rural development.
Application for admission to undergraduate courses must be made in accordance with the regulations and procedures and timetable described in the CAO Handbook.
The Handbook is confined to giving information on how to apply for admission to the relevant institutions. Applicants should not attempt to complete the application form without first referring to the information literature on courses, which is available from the institutions to which application is to be made.
Please see http://www.cao.ie/courses.php for information on course qualifications.
Candidates are recommended to check the prospectuses from the individual institutions for course details and specific entry requirements.
There is no formal upper age limit for entry to this occupation, but experiences in farming and relevant qualifications are essential. You may be able to enter relevant training through universities or colleges that relax normal academic entrance requirements for suitable mature applicants. Most academic institutions define people aged 23 years or over as mature candidates.
Contact Local Agribusiness Companies, Consultancy Companies and Leader Boards, details of which can be found in your local telephone directory.
Contact your local Intreo Centre or Employment Services office for Career Guidance, planning and support that will help you make informed decisions about the best career direction for you
- AGCAS: Environmental, Food Chain and Rural
Labour Market Information
Qualifax: Ireland’s National Learners’ Database
The science of cultivating fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants. It usually refers to small-scale gardening, while agriculture usually means growing field crops on a larger scale.
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