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Record number of women enter agriculture training in Teagasc Kildalton

Teagasc Kildalton's newest female students entering the Certificate in Agriculture Level 5 course. Photo: Teagasc.

2019 sees the enrolment of 13 female students in the Certificate in Agriculture Level 5, a significant increase from just two in 2014.

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12 September 2019 | 0

The first week of September saw the return of students to agricultural colleges throughout Ireland.

One such college, Teagasc Kildalton College in County Kilkenny, has seen student numbers increase in the Certificate in Agriculture Level 5 course, which is the first year of the Green Cert course, since its inception.

Currently, there are 127 students enrolled, including 13 female students. The number of women choosing this agriculture course is up 50% on last year. This is a substantial increase from two female students enrolled five years ago.

The Teagasc Education Vision report highlighted the low rate of female graduates in further education on Teagasc programmes. This contrasts with Quality and Qualification Ireland (QQI) data which indicates that approximately 51% of all further education awards were female.

Over the past number of years, Kildalton College has championed female graduates to promote agriculture as a viable career for women. The recent increase in female enrolment is an indication that more women are pursuing a career in farming.

As well as hailing from the bordering counties of Kilkenny, Wexford, Tipperary, and Waterford, Kildalton sees this year’s female students coming from counties Clare, Offaly, Laois, and Wicklow.

The majority of these female students come from a farm, but that background is never a barrier to a career in agriculture for those who don’t.

These first year agricultural students will join with students from other agriculture, equine, and horticulture courses as well as over 400 Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) agriculture, agricultural science, horticulture, forestry, and food science students who come to Kildalton on a weekly basis as part of their degree programmes.

In total, in excess 1,200 students will study land-based courses in Kildalton College this academic year.

Tim Ashmore, college principal of Teagasc Kildalton, encouraged anyone interested in a career in agriculture, equine, or horticulture to attend the Kildalton College Open Day on Friday, October 4, when there will be an opportunity for prospective students to learn more about the course content and see the facilities of the college.

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