Wicklow Farmers invited to apply for fully funded diploma places with Sustainable Farming Academy

Sustainable Farming Academy 1

Tirlán and Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur are collaborating to support farm families’ positive environmental actions for a second successive year, with the opening of applications for participants from Wicklow and elsewhere in their catchment area for the fully-funded Sustainable Farming Academy.

Twenty farmers are invited to enroll for the practical year-long Diploma in Environment, Sustainability and Climate. It comes as the first cohort of participants begin their final term with the Academy. 

The diploma will be delivered mainly online and empowers Tirlán family farm suppliers with the most relevant and up-to-date knowledge to continue to address sustainability challenges. The Academy is also aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Academic partner University College Cork will deliver the accredited and fully-funded Diploma which is tailored to fit in with each farmer’s full-time, on-farm responsibilities. As part of the course,  participants are required to submit a number of assignments, all timed during quieter times in the farming calendar.

The UCC Sustainability Diploma recognises prior learning and each participant’s existing sustainability knowledge. Modules include Earth Science, Climate Change and Sustainable Development as well as Ecology, Applied Geographical Information Systems, Environmental Protection and Practical Environmental Management. All learning is directly applicable on farm.

Announcing the opening of applications for the 2023/2024 Academy, Director of Ingredients at Tirlán, Aoife Murphy, said: “The aim of the Academy is to support Irish farming communities in addressing environmental, economic and social challenges by giving them the knowledge, skills and know-how to farm more sustainably.

“Baileys and Tirlán have had a long-established strategic partnership which centres on working closely together to ensure we deliver a world-class product and service to Baileys.

Jennifer English, Global Brand Director for Baileys, said: “We’re proud Tirlán partners since 1974 and it makes sense that we would work together on cutting edge farming methods to reduce our carbon footprint. The Academy is driving fundamental changes in how we farm. Together, we are working for change.”

Academy participant Amanda Mooney said: “Being part of the first ever group to take part in the Sustainable Farming Academy is probably the best thing I’ve ever done for me personally and to future-proof our family farm.

“There isn’t a farmer out there who doesn’t want to farm more sustainably. It’s very much to the fore. Education is key and I see a very bright future for the Academy. The issue won’t be getting the numbers to do it – it will be finding the places for everyone who will want to complete the programme.”

Fellow participant, Eamon Sheehan, said: “I’d definitely recommend the Academy to other farmers. Sustainability is an issue that isn’t going to go away. We all have a part to play. We’re all undertaking science-based research to improve what we do at farm level and we want to leave our farm in a better way for the next generation.”

  • Applications are now open and the programme begins in September 2023. For further information, log on to www.tirlanfarmlife.com

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