The Salesian Agricultural College Conversion From Beef And Sheep Farm To Organic Launched Yesterday

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Rachel McNamara, Farm Operations Manager, Majella Moloney, Teagasc Regional Manager; Niall Collins T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; Pippa Hackett, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Cllr Sean Hartigan, Limerick; Dr Stan Lalor, Teagasc Director of Knowledge Transfer; Father John Horan, Rector Salesian Agricultural College; Joe Kelleher, Teagasc Organic Specialist and Derek O’Donoghue, College Principal at the launch of an Organic Conversion plan for the Drystock Enterprise in the Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, Co Limerick. Picture: O’Gorman Photography.

The Salesian Agricultural College’s proposed conversion of their beef and sheep farm to organic was officially launched at Pallaskenry in County Limerick yesterday by Pippa Hackett, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.  

Minister Hackett says there is a growing demand for more sustainable methods of farming and says education has a key role in making agriculture more resilient in Ireland and protecting our farm families.

The college currently delivers Level 5 Organic Farming Module and in the future will be working with the Teagasc Organic Team to share their learnings about organic livestock farming to the wider farming community. The government has a target of having 10,000 organic farms by 2030, so there will be an increasing population of young farmers that will require an agricultural education with a strong emphasis on organic farming. 

The case for the conversion of the drystock enterprise was prepared in March of this year and the conversion process has already commenced with the sowing of red clover swards for silage taking place in April of this year.

The College offers a range of courses from Distance Learning(GreenCert) to full time Level 6 Courses on the 550 acre farm that has upwards of 700 livestock.