Summer 2019 will see a fresh influx of second level students into the world of third-level education, with many hoping to pursue a future in agriculture.
With this in mind, Serena Gibbons (an Educational officer with Teagasc’s Galway/Clare unit) has listed a number of benefits to those who choose to do a green cert. She noted that there are many courses available through Teagasc Centres and Mountbellew Agricultural College in Co. Galway.
She noted that once a student has completed their Green Certificate course, they meet the requirements of a qualified farmer for the purposes of all Revenue and Department-run schemes.
Benefits of having a green cert -
According to Serena Gibbons of Teagasc, there are a number of reasons why having a green cert is advantageous.
- Stamp duty Exemption - A very topical subject, with the issues of increased stamp duty to the forefront of agriculture in 2018. The stamp duty rate is now set at 6% and any farmer under the age of 35 who has obtained a green cert is actually exempt from Stamp Duty Payments on the transfer of land.
- Department Grants - Any farmer who has obtained the green cert can also avail of a 60% TAMS grant. Not only this, but they are also eligible to apply for the National Reserve and Young Farmer schemes.
- CAT - Under the CAT category are Gift tax and Inheritance Tax and when a farm holding exceeds the value of €320,000, these taxes apply at a rate of 33%. A qualified farmer can also avail of Agricultural relief if they can pass an 80:20 asset test.
- Learning Experience - The Green Cert is a FETAC Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate. It covers a wide range of modules such as beef, sheep, pesticide use, farm safety, farm business, Maintenance of farm buildings and much more. It also provides training in beef, grass and sheep management skills.
(A student pictured working at MountBellew college)
Options to complete the Green Cert -
There are many different options available for those looking to pursue the Green Certificate.
1) - Full-time course at Agricultural Colleges: Colleges include Pallaskenry, Mountbellew, Kildalton, Clonakilty and Ballyhaise. Any interested parties can apply directly to the college, with an entrance exam in June. The course is held on a full-time basis from Monday to Friday, September to May, over a two-year period. The cost for the full-time course is €1,700 and participants will also have to undertake 12weeks working placement on a host farm. Teagasc will also provide half-day health and safety courses to all students to help them complete the Risk Assessment Document, a minimum legal requirement for all farmers.2) Part-Time courses at Teagasc, Mellows Campus Athenry and Teagasc Centre, Ennis. This course is held on one day and one evening per week for a two-year period and is only available to persons over the age of 23. The course comes at a cost of €1,700 and the next available one starts in September 2019. 3) Distance learning - Available in Mountbellew and other Ag colleges throughout Ireland, the Distance learning course is delivered over 18-months and is only available to those who already have a FETAC Major Level 6 or higher education not in agriculture. Participants will have to attend college for 25 days in total, usually one day per month with a block of five days at the completion of the course. The course comes at a cost of €2,990, which is payable upon starting.
For further information on Green Cert OR Health and Safety Courses, contact Serena Gibbons on 091-845228 or by email at email@example.com
Note: Information on courses provided by Teagasc.