The Green Cert is the basic agricultural qualification necessary to qualify as a young trained farmer, writes Serena Gibbons, Education Officer, Galway/Clare Region.
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.
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.
Stamp Duty Exemption:
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, this 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 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:
- This course is ONLY available to students who have a FETAC Major Level-6 or higher qualification in a non-agricultural area;
- 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-Friday, 9.00 am to 6.00 pm) usually one day per month with a block of 5 days at the end of the course.
- Course fee is €2,990.00 payable on commencement of course;
- Additional information for this course is available here.
- Students can contact the centre of choice directly for enrolment information.
The Distance courses are available at the following centres:
- Ballyhaise - 049 4338108;
- Pallaskenry - 061 393100;
- Gurteen - 067 21282;
- Kildalton - 051 644400;
- Mountbellew - 090 9679205.
Teagasc Regional Centres:
- Ballinrobe (B. Garry) - 094 9542032;
- Donegal - 074 9194132;
- Moorepark (M. Riordan) - 025 42326;
- Mullingar (N. Heffernan) - 046 9061203;
- Navan (B. Nulty) - 046 9068134;
- Naas 045 843647 - Roscommon (C. Divilly/C. Corcoran);
- 090 6628556 Sligo (C. Kerins) - 071 9189402;
- Tipperary (B. Gleeson) - 050 429236.
The part-time course:
- Available in Teagasc Regional Offices, eg: Mellows Campus Athenry and Teagasc Centre, Ennis;
- One day and one evening per week for two academic years;
- Available to students over the age of 23 only;
- Course fee is €1,700.
Full-time course at agricultural colleges:
- Mountbellew, Pallaskenry, Ballyhaise, Kildalton, Clonakilty;
- Apply directly to college, annual entrance exam in June;
- Full-time (Monday to Friday) September to May;
- Duration of two academic years;
- Course fee is €1,700.00;
- Includes 12 weeks placement on host farm.
Note: 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. for further information on agricultural courses, please contact your local Teagasc education officer.