Good news from an agricultural point of view is always welcome, and news that demand for agricultural college places is going through the roof suggests optimism among young farmers looking towards the future.
“Agriculture is at a turning point in terms of recent increases in the numbers of students attending agricultural colleges,” said Macra Na Feirme President Catherine Buckley.
Ms Buckley said it’s become apparent to Macra that the decline of new entrants to farming is about to change due to the year-on-year increase in the numbers attending agricultural college.
According to Teagasc, enrolment figures for further education courses in Agriculture will be up 42 per cent to date this year on the back of a 47 per cent increase last year – hence the optimism.
A recent Macra na Feirme survey sought the views of 109 young farmers. Some 67 per cent of those surveyed were optimistic about the future of farming in Ireland.
When asked about the areas of most concern to them, those surveyed highlighted rising production costs as the primary issue of concern to them.
Given the summer we’ve endured, it’s of little surprise that climate change was regarded as the second area of concern.
Macra believes that farming has reached a turning point and is about to embrace the opportunities of the future which have been highlighted by world economists.