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Agricultural Development Officer – North Region

TeagascCavan€34,650 to €67,440Temporary

Job Summary


This North Region panel will become effective from 3 June 2021 from which temporary vacancies may be filled and will remain active for a period of 24 months.

Basic Function 

Agricultural Development Officers play a central role in the delivery of advisory, education and training services within Teagasc. Advisors are involved in the development of agriculture in a particular geographic region. They work closely with assigned client’s to ensure the sustainable development of their farm business through improved technical and financial efficiency and sustainable resource management. College Teachers & Education Officers will be involved in delivering classes/practical’s to students on a range of programmes delivered at colleges. There may be some regular evening / Saturday work hours for certain education and advisory roles.


Teagasc wish to establish a North Regional panel from which Agricultural Development Officer vacancies in the area of advisory, education and training will be filled. This panel will be used to fill temporary vacancies only. The panel will remain in place for 24 months. Teagasc will fill roles from the panel in crops, dairy, drystock and education. Staff will be expected to move across roles in the Advisory and Education programmes and staff may be reassigned to an alternative location or programme area in order to meet customer demand and in line with changing organisational priorities. 

Job Objectives

Range of Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead the development of sustainable agricultural production systems across a particular geographic area as part of a locally based advisory team.

  • Contribute to and support the overall Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) that provides support to farm families engaged in agriculture and rural enterprise.

  • Challenge and support farmers and clients in a nominated region by effectively using a range of advisory tools including one to one support, discussion group, short education course, demonstrations / public events / meeting activities.

  • Provide physical and financial analysis & business planning for development of farm business.

  • Facilitate clients in the analysis and planning of succession and inheritance.

  • Assist clients in change processes as required in a changing economic environment.

  • Assist clients in the participation in EU and national schemes.

  • Prepare and deliver classes/lectures for a variety of relevant programme areas.

  • Prepare and deliver assessments in accordance with Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) guidelines.

  • Participate in the Business Unit Peer Review / Whole College Evaluation processes as required.

  • Implement quality assurance procedures including peer review of work and internal verification.

  • Actively engage in the implementation of access, disability and young learner protection policies.

  • Deliver practical skills instruction and the assessment of these skills.

  • Contribute to the management of a college enterprise.

  • Correct, record, verify and inform students of their progress in the assessment system.

  • Provide tutorials/mentoring to students on class work and practical’s related to their chosen course.

  • Use digital communication tools and social media in a targeted way.

  • Support advisory campaigns as required.

  • Support the overall profile of Teagasc in the delivery of local, regional and national events, publications and public relations.

  • Represent Teagasc on various events, committees and meetings.

  • Provide input and deliver on assigned objectives of the agreed business plan as part of a region or college team.

  • Proactively recruit clients/students and meet business unit’s income targets.

  • Proactively promote services/ training programmes.

  • Visit schools and career open days to market Teagasc courses and give guidance on likely job opportunities for school leavers and mature students.

  • Provide material for events, open days, in-service training and educational exhibits.

  • Liaise with relevant internal and external stakeholders.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Engage positively in the Performance Management Development System (PMDS) system and undertake self-development, up-skilling and updating through active participation in staff development and training opportunities. Take responsibility for personal continuous professional development

  • Contribute to the annual business planning and risk management process for the relevant business unit.

  • Provide support to other Teagasc activities as and when required.

  • Continually up-skill and meet regulatory requirements to run programmes and activities under DAFM schemes.

  • Adopt the most effective and progressive advisory / teaching, instruction and ICT methodologies.

  • Assist with managing the health, safety and welfare of clients and students.

  • Take accountability for the effectiveness of the safety management system in their area of responsibility and communicate a responsible attitude to safety, health and welfare by personal example. Ensure that all processes and procedures are resourced, planned and completed without negative safety impact.

  • Fully co-operate with the provisions for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of themselves, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.

  • Assist management and administrative staff in achieving good governance and risk management through co-operation and adherence to administrative procedures and practices.

  • Assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service charter and action plan through adherence to best practice protocols.

  • Carry out any other duties as may be assigned from time to time.

* This job specification is intended as a guide to the general range of duties and is intended to be neither definitive nor restrictive. Job descriptions will be issued with offers of appointment.

Skills Required

Essential Criteria (Stage 1)

  • Candidates must have a relevant QQI Level 8 degree in Agriculture Science which includes soil science.

  • Candidates must satisfy legal requirements to drive unaccompanied on Irish public roads.

  • It is essential that the applicants Agriculture Science degree qualification is eligible for FAS registration.

  • Candidates who do not meet the above criteria will not proceed to stage 2 of the selection process.

    Short-listing Criteria (Stage 2)

  • Candidates must have an Agricultural Science degree with requisite content in the majority of the following modules:
    Animal Husbandry, Crop Husbandry, Soils/Geology (soil science compulsory), Environment, Farm Financial Management, Biology, Chemistry (highly desirable), Maths, and Genetics.

  • It is highly desirable that candidates have experience carrying our similar agricultural advisory or education/training/facilitation roles.

  • OR

  • Have completed (or be underway with) a relevant Level 9 or Level 10 post graduate qualification. For example the Teagasc MAgrSc in Agriculture Extension and Innovation, or MAgrSc in Agriculture Innovation and Support.

  • Candidates who score highest in terms of qualifications and relevant experience will proceed to the next stage of the process.

    Knowledge Skills and Competencies assessed at Interview (Stage 3)




    • Candidates must show expert agriculture and environmental knowledge and demonstrate how they stay abreast of current best practices and research. 

    • Candidates must be able to identify and shape the best practical applications of this knowledge in order to enhance the capabilities of farms & other enterprises.

    • Candidates must stay abreast of current concepts and use effective teaching and advisory methods to impart this knowledge to clients and students.

    • Candidates must act as an effective conduit to the latest thinking and methods that may give farmers a competitive edge or sustain their viability.

    • Candidates are expected to be competent in practical farming skills e.g. livestock husbandry skills, crop husbandry skills, tractor/machinery skills, fertiliser application skills etc.

    • Financial analysis and farm business planning

    • Familiarity with Teagasc financial management packages

    • Knowledge of QQI quality assurance procedures

    • Underway to obtaining a Certificate for European Consultants in Rural Areas (CECRA)

    Behavioural Competencies

    • Excellent analysis, numeracy, problem solving skills and decision support abilities.

    • Work and project organisational skills which show pro-activity and drive.

    • Focus on quality customer service and standards.

    • Collaboration, team work (working with both technical and administration staff)
      & leadership qualities/abilities.

    • Adopts an open-minded and flexible approach to work.

    • Excellent communication skills with an ability to teach and transfer knowledge.

    • Understands and appreciates the importance of continuous professional development.

    Selection Process

    The selection process will include (reference information booklet for more information):

  • Screening (stage 1) of applications to ensure candidates meet the essential criteria as outlined in the person specification. Candidates who do not meet the essential criteria and will not progress to the next stage of the selection process, i.e. short-listing.

  • Short-Listing (stage 2) of applications will be based on relevance of Level 8 agriculture science degree (as measured by relevance of modules) and relevant advisory and education experience. Candidates with the highest marks from this process will be called to the next phase of the competition.

  • A competency based interview (stage 3) which will focus on exploring the candidates’ relevant experience, knowledge and the broader competencies required for the role of Agricultural Development Officer in Teagasc. There may also be a practical element such as a presentation / video or guidance paper to be presented/demonstrated at interview also, further details will be provided at a later stage.

  • A panel will be formed after stage 3 above and this panel will be used to fill temporary positions in the North Region within Teagasc over the next 2 years.

  • Attachments:

    ADO Additional Information - North Region.docx

    Information Booklet - North Region.pdf

    The closing date for applications is Monday the 10th of May 2021

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