National Organic Training Skillnet (NOTS) Training Programme 2014

NOTS will be providing a range of training courses throughout the country in 2014.  The NOTS training programme is available to farmers, growers, processors, food businesses, and consultants working in the area of the food. New entrants, farmers considering the organic option and commercial producers interested in developing their enterprise into an organic business are also eligible. NOTS are managed through a steering group which has representation from Western Organic Network, and organic certification bodies IOFGA and Organic Trust. The following training programmes are being offered to help support the sector; for further details and updates go to We would welcome any ideas that individuals have on training needs that would help their business develop.

From Farm to Fork:  This is a 2 day course, day 1 will focus on outdoor production of free range pigs and the importance of breed selection, feed, welfare and land management. While on day 2, you will learn how to make your own sausages. Each student will leave with 1 kg of sausages. Course takes place on the 7th and 14th of June cost €75.00 this includes a light lunch.

Raising Poultry and Eggs on Pasture; 1 day course will cover all aspects of poultry and egg production all the way through to processing. Trainees will be able to see, first-hand the housing and equipment best suitable for poultry production and processing. Course dates; 2nd of June, in Galway, €40.00p/p, Lunch is NOT provided.

Organic Egg Production; 1 day course on setting up an organic egg unit on your farm covering housing, feed, breeds etc. Course will take place in October 2014 and takes place in Co. Clare. Cost of the course is €40.00

DIY AI Training5 day course, 4 days practical & 1 day theory on artificial Insemination.

Course take place in Laois and Leitrim, Courses take place monthly and cost €375.00. Lunch not included.

Bovine Scanning; 12 day course on pregnancy scanning for cows; Co Laois cost €750: lunch not included

135 COURSE – Tractor use in HorticultureA 2 day course with Jim Cronin on the selection, uses and implemation of a tractor in a horticulture setting. Course will take place in Clare on the 10th of May and 14th of June . Cost of the course is €100.00 including lunch

Growing in a Polytunnel:  A one course on growing in a polytunnel, tutor is Klaus Laitenberger. Course date is 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May in Dublin and Wexford. Course cost is €20.00 or free to the unemployed.


Herb Production– A one day course on the production of herbs. Location; Westside Gardens, Galway.  Thursday 22nd May 10.00.a.m. to 4.00.p.m. €20 per person or free places for the unemployed (limited places available).

Introduction to Setting Up a Local and Sustainable Cut Flower Business:  A 1 day course run by Ciarán Beattie of Leitrim Flowers – a successful cut flower grower with 35 years horticulture and business experience. The course will take place in Leitrim on the 10th of June and costs €50.00 per p

Introduction to Organic Production: This course covers the following; background to organic production, Principles of organic production, Organic Standards, Economics of Organic production and Organic Scheme requirements. This course is a 25 hour intensive training course and takes place over 2 weekends. On the 6th& 7th and the 20th &21st of June 2014. Course cost is €220 per person.

Introduction to Cheese Production; A 2 day course on cheese production also including food Hygiene requirement. Tutor from Knockdrinna Farm House Cheese to be held in Stoneyford, Co. Kilkeeny. Dates to be confirmed (Summer 2014

Ice Cream Production; 1 day practical course on artisan ice cream production; the course will offer participants to see the process from milk right through to production including required equipment and ingredients for ice cream production. Course takes place on the 12th of May in Clare. Course cost is €60 includes lunch.

Foundations of Seed Production – Selection, 

The objective of this module is to give an overview of organic seed production for market growers. Some of the trainees may have some experience in saving seed on a small scale while others will have no experience at all. This module will include farm visits to see farms who have already adopted seed saving as a result of seed training. The course will cover, introduction of the mechanics of seed production, an understanding of basic botany, an understanding of open pollination and  an example of seed saving in a modern farm setting.  Location Seed Savers, Scariff Co Clare, May 25th Cost €50

Harvesting Seed from Overwintering Crops & Maintenance of Spring Crops

Location Seed Savers, Scariff, Co Clare, May 25th To teach trainees the timing and mechanics of seed harvesting and processing from overwintering and early spring crops (biennial root crops, winter hardy peas and beans, salad crops, brassicas). How to deal with possible pest and disease problems which affect seed crops. The course will cover Hands-on seed harvesting of overwintering crops, Processing seed (cleaning and drying), Care and maintenance of seed producing crops, Pest and disease problems, Seed production of polytunnel crops.  Location Seed Savers, Scariff Co Clare ,28th July 2014: Cost €50

Organic Grassland Management.  The course to be delivered by Mary Lynch.  This one day course will enable farmers to increase grassland production of fodder and thereby reduce reliance on external feed inputs.  The course will cover organic clover and grass seed selection, Flora in pastures and diversity,  soil structure, grass seeding, clover swards, Fodder production.  Date ; May 21st in Co Offaly  Cost; €50

Increasing Soil Fertility and Animal Health, 1 day course with Mary Lynch, the course will assist farmers with increasing soil fertility and how to increasing animal health while minimise problems such as parasite’s etc. Cost €50, Venue Co Cork

Meat Butchery Training; 5 day course on practical meat butchery skills course covering basic cuts for beef, lamb & pork including packaging and labelling. Cost €300 Ballinasloe Co Galway dates to be decided. Lunch not included.

Certificate in Organics (Distance Learning): This FETAC level 5 courses offers a distance learning option to obtain a Certificate in Organic Horticulture through the completion a choice of modules. In addition to the online training there are also two practical experience days per module. Duration: 1 year commencing September 2014.

MSc PG Dip in Organic Farming: This is a part time on-line distance learning course in which there are 8 taught modules over two years and a subsequent MSc project in a topic related to organic farming. Commences in September 2014; Duration 3 years; requires a full application process.

MSc in Organic Horticulture1 year part time MSc in organic horticulture delivered over 2 semesters. Commences in September 2014; Duration 1 year; requires a full application process and prior educational qualifications.

NOTS are planning other courses throughout 2014 e.g. Flour Milling, HACCP planning, Food Hygiene & Mentoring. We would welcome feedback from farmers or growers whom have specific requests for training or mentoring:

To book or discuss training or mentoring requirements, please contact National Organic Training Skillnet (NOTS) on 0719640688 or 086 1728442 or email or check out www.nots.iefor further details.


Courses will only proceed subject to sufficient demand, Course will require minimum attendance hence may be cancelled due to insufficient demand. Courses can be booked or purchased online


Postal Address: National Organic Training Skillnet, The Enterprise Centre, Hill Rd, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim


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