The Basic Agricultural Qualification To Qualify As A Young, Trained Farmer


The Green Cert is the basic agricultural qualification necessary to qualify as a young, trained farmer.

On completion of the Green Cert course, students meet the requirements of a qualified farmer for the purposes of all Revenue and Department of Agriculture (DAFM) schemes.

College lecturer James Daunt addresses students at a Teagasc careers open day in Clonakilty Agricultural College, Co Cork. Pic. O'Gorman Photography..jpg

College lecturer James Daunt addresses students at a Teagasc careers open day in Clonakilty Agricultural College, Co Cork. Pic. O’Gorman Photography..jpg

The benefits of having the Green Cert are numerous, these include:

  • The Green Cert is a FETAC Level-6 Specific Purpose Certificate, and the modules covered are beef, sheep and grass production, farm business, pesticide use, farm safety and maintenance of farm buildings as well as comprehensive training in beef, sheep and grass management skills
  • A qualified farmer under the age of 35 is exempt from stamp duty payment on the transfer of land, which is presently 6%. Consanguinity relief will apply when land is transferred between a parent and child, reducing stamp duty from 6% to 1% irrespective of age or agricultural qualifications. More details are available on the Revenue website, in relation to calculating stamp duty (
  • Both Inheritance Tax and Gift Tax come under the Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) category. Once the holding value exceeds €335,000 (this was increased from €320,000 in last week’s budget) both of these taxes will apply at a rate of 33%. A qualified farmer can avail of Agricultural Relief if they can also pass the 80:20 asset test. It would be advisable to discuss the above taxes with your accountant.
  • A qualified farmer can avail of a 60% TAMS grant and is also eligible to apply for the Young Farmers Scheme and National Reserve.

Agricultural Course Options

The Distance Course is only available to students who have a FETAC Major Level-6 or higher qualification in a non-agricultural area.

It is delivered over an 18-month period, students attend college for a total of 25 days during that 18-month period.

These college days take place on normal working days (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) usually one day per month, with a block of five days at the end of the course.

The course fee is €2,990, payable on commencement of the course.

Additional information for this course is available at the website.

Students can contact the centre of choice directly for enrolment information.

The Distance Courses are available at the following colleges and Teagasc regional centres: the Ballyhaise (049 4338108), Pallaskenry (061 393100); Gurteen (067 21282); Kildalton (051 644400); and Mountbellew (090 9679205) colleges and the Teagasc Regional Centres at Ballinrobe (094 9542032); Donegal (074 9194132); Moorepark (025 42326); Mullingar (046 9061203); Navan 046 9068134); Naas (045 843647); Roscommon (090 662855); Sligo (071 9189402); and Tipperary (0504 29236).

Due to the nature of agricultural courses, an online course is not available.

As part of the course, students are required to complete practical skills in animal husbandry, machinery and grass production.

Part-Time Course

It is available in Teagasc regional offices.

It is delivered for one day and one evening per week for two academic years, and is available to students over the age of 23 only.

The course fee is €1,700.

Full-Time Course

It is available at the Mountbellew, Pallaskenry, Ballyhaise, Kildalton, and Clonakilty agricultural colleges.

Apply directly to a college, the annual entrance exam is in June.

The course runs full time from Monday to Friday, September to May, for two academic years, and includes 12 weeks of placement on a host farm.

The course fee is €1,700.

(Source – Irish Examiner – Farming – Serena Gibbons, Education Officer, Galway-Clare Region Education – 18/10/2019)

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