INHFA calls for upland farming module to form part of  Green Cert

The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association have called on Teagasc to include a module on upland farming as part of a new Green Cert to be rolled out this September. Speaking on this INHFA Vice President Micheal McDonnell detailed “how the organisation has been pressing Teagasc for some time now to have such a module introduced” and stressed the need for “immediate action on this.” The future of upland farming is, stated McDonnell, “vital to the survival of those rural communities and we must ensure that those farming these lands are properly educated to carry out this vital task.”

In any sector of education there are, he stated “modules that best suit what type of career path you are taking and for those students operating on our uplands it is essential that when you take on the Green Cert Qualification you have the option to carry out the Upland farming module as part of that qualification.”

As the focus on upland farming increases, the INHFA leader maintained “it is vital that our future farmers are equipped with the knowledge and research that will help them make informed decisions that will benefit the Agricultural output while also benefit Biodiversity.”

With this in mind McDonnell outlined the following areas for inclusion in any future module

  • Herd and flock management in the Uplands with a focus on breeds that work best in order to bring positive benefits to our uplands in terms of managing carbon and habitats.
  • Research on the benefits of sheep and cattle grazing for biodiversity 
  • Farm livestock management, should also include the adoption of new technologies such as virtual fencing, GPS tracking and drone technology.
  • Climate Smart Agriculture-Environmental benefits of good upland management
  • Uplands and food – Quality Beef and Lamb – low carbon footprint, high environmental benefit, 

Concluding, the INHFA vice president stated that “upland farmer education is crucial for promoting sustainable agriculture, and protecting our way of life. As these are farmed landscapes, it is stressed McDonnell “vital that farmers have the knowledge to identify the right type of animal, in the right place, to carry out the right task that benefits our sustainable farming system while also benefiting our biodiversity and ecosystem services.”