Employment Opportunities

Agri, Environmental & Forestry Consultancy

Agricultural & forestry consultants employ a significant no. of graduates. Services provided include advice  on EU schemes & environmental plans, technical and financial advice for commercial farmers. Consultants also process farm accounts, assist with credit applications and give advice on various EU schemes and markets.

Land valuations, grant applications and new business plans are among the services provided.Long term prospects are reasonable due to the enlarged EU, improved Agri prospects, increased environmental regulations and compliance requirements.

For further info please  contact the Agricultural Consultants Association, Forestry Consultants Association & British Institute of Agricultural Consultants. and the Association of International Consultants.

EU & International Consultancy

Graduates & other qualified personnel may also have the opportunity to work abroad with multinationals, Irish based or international consultants and charities working in central Europe, the former Soviet Union, Middle East, Asia or third world. Due to EU expansion there should be greater opportunities in central Europe.For further information  check out the relevant charity, commercial and EU websites for more details.

Agri Merchants

In general graduates with good interpersonal skills and a positive attitude to commercial work will find regular vacancies arising in this sector. While pay and conditions may not always match those elsewhere the opportunity to gain valuable work experience should be the major consideration.More info at the Acorn group website.

Auctioneers & Valuers

Graduates are involved in valuations of forestry, farm buildings, land sales and rental, livestock and in the operation of livestock marts. However the slowdown in the economy has  impacted on employment levels. Check out the website for the  Society of Chartered Surveyors.

Audit & Accountancy Firms

An agricultural graduate can join the practice and train as a Chartered Accountant. One can specialise in agribusiness, take a management role in the firm or provide business advice to clients in agribusiness and related sectors. For further information on this sector check out websites such as www.pwc.ie and www.kpmg.ie.

Agrochemicals & Animal Health

The Animal & Plant Health Association represents the interests of bigger manufacturers in Ireland. This is a major agribusiness sector and prospects have improved due to increased livestock numbers and a bigger acreage of tillage.

The age profile of current employees, a shortage of veterinary graduates and the trend to employ personnel with third level qualifications are all positive factors from a graduate perspective. For further information check out their website.

Financial Institutions

ACC Bank, AIB Bank, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank etc employ significant numbers of ag graduates in areas such as: Agricultural Advisory, Business Lending, Corporate Banking, IT, Retail/Branch Banking, Sales/Marketing etc. More information at their websites however employment prospects at present are slim due to the crisis in the financial sector.

FBD Insurance, Irish Farm Accounts Coop (IFAC) and the Aviva Group also employ many agricultural graduates. These companies recruit on a regular basis. Why not check out their company profile and recruitment pages.

Dept. of Agriculture, Food & Marine (Includes the Forest Service)

The basic requirement for entry is an honours degree in Agriculture, Food Science or similar. Graduates in other disciplines are also recruited to meet specialist needs. The work includes formulating policy for the development of the agriculture and food sectors. This includes attendance at Technical Meetings of the EU and other Technical/Regulatory Organisations.

Implementation of EU legislation and schemes such as Integrated Controls, REPS and other Farm Improvement Schemes, as well as Quality Control measures across a range of agri-food products.

Liaison with outside organisations such as Teagasc, Bord Bia, Co-ops and International Organisations, in both policy and operational aspects of their work. Further information on their website however all public sector recruitment is now minimal.


Coillte is a forestry company so career opportunities are in the general area of silviculture and related disciplines. Activities include growing Christmas trees, forestry plantations, landscaping, nurseries, tree care services, training, leisure activities, engineering services (including wind farms) and wood products.

Greenbelt Ltd. The typical graduate here has responsibility for sourcing work from farmers and investors and is also involved in land purchase, planting and forestry management. On the administration side graduates process applications and work on mapping.

There are many other firms active in the sector so check out the excellent directory in the Forestry Yearbook

Agribusiness & Food

Bord Bia develops export markets for Irish food and drink companies.The focus is now on market research, consumer foods, food ingredients, marketing and promotion rather than on meat production & processing. For more information on opportunities there and with their clients check out their website.

The four West Cork Co-operatives- Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird own Carbery Milk Products: and account for 30% of national cheese production. These  Coops are also involved in retail farm sales feed, compounding and a wide range of other Agribusiness services.

South Western offers a comprehensive range of services, principally in the agricultural, forestry, environmental, financial, property and IT sectors.

Dairygold Co-Op is Ireland's largest farmer owned food company and multi-purpose agribusiness. Its activities include dairy processing, animal feed manufacture, grain trading, supply of DIY & farm inputs and farm services, including animal breeding and livestock marketing.

Glanbia Plc is an international food company based in Ireland, Britain and USA. Glanbia Agribusiness services 6,000 milk suppliers and 20,000 customers, providing a wide range of farm inputs. Ag graduates are employed in animal nutrition, technical sales, IT, quality assurance schemes, in forestry, environmental areas, in laboratories etc.

Greencore Plc is a leading international producer of Convenience Foods and Ingredients. Most recent recruits in the Agri sector have a masters qualification in a tillage or livestock related area. M.B.A. is the favoured post grad qualification for the more experienced personnel. Agri subsidiaries include Premier Molasses & Trilby Trading.

ARYZTA (formely IAWS Plc) is a major Food and Agri-business group with world wide operations. Its three main business activities are food, agribusiness, plus oils & proteins.Well known Agri subsidiaries under their subsidiary   originenterprises include R & H Hall, Gouldings etc.

Irish Dairy Board has a trainee programme to give graduates real business experience. Successful applicants from Agribusiness, Food Science and Food Business are placed in the US or Europe.

The Kerry Group have many opportunities at home and abroad in the food ingredients/ processing and agribusiness. Positions in sales, marketing and production management. Graduates are also recruited to work in IT, finance, quality assurance & technical services.Check out their websites.

Lakeland Dairies is the second biggest dairy Coop in the Republic. It produces quality dairy food service products and functional food ingredients for international markets and its Agri-business division services farmers in the Northeast including N. Ireland.

For a comprehensive list of Co-operative Societies please refer to the ICOS website.

Environment & Renewable Energy

Significant new employment could be created in this sector in local authorities, consultancy and in the private sector. Websites worth visiting are the Environmental Protection Agency, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland , Irish Wind Energy Association. etc

Farm Machinery

Do you want a future where you can work with computers, electronics and GP systems? Modern farm equipment uses all this technology so that farmers/contractors can achieve higher levels of efficiency.

The manufacture of farm machinery and agricultural equipment in Ireland is a growth sector. Many of these firms eg Dairymaster, Keenan, McHales, employ graduates in management, marketing and sales positions.

For further information on the industry refer to Farm Machinery Yearbooks and checkout the FTMTA website

Farm & Youth Organisations

A significant number of graduates are employed by the Irish Farmers Association, ICMSA, ICSA, Macra na Feirme etc. These positions include development officers, administration personnel, training etc. In all cases good personnel skills are required, employees must be willing to travel etc.

This work experience enables the younger graduate to make useful contacts and to be well placed when an attractive position arises in a local Co-op, agribusiness company, political party or development agency.

Feed  Industry

The Irish Grain & Feed Association represents feed mills, grain merchants, feed importers, ancillary suppliers and compounders. Because of increased  livestock numbers and a requirement to finish beef cattle earlier the demand for feed remains strong.

Graduates are employed widely in this modern hi tech industry as nutritionists, technical advisers, sales representatives and in various management positions. Farmer customers now expect to deal with qualified personnel, which augurs well for future graduate recruitment.

Fertiliser Industry

After years of  declining  this sector has stabilised and is growing again.The tillage acreage is growing as are livestock numbers so farmers need more grass and forage. .For more  information on the fertiliser industry check out the Fertilizer Association of Ireland.


Dunnes Stores, Tesco Ireland, SuperValu etc all operate Quality Assurance (QA) schemes in conjunction with their food suppliers. Food Safety, traceability, animal welfare, environmentally friendly production systems, organic farming are all areas of interest to food buyers.

The multiples lay down production requirements, set/audit quality standards, implement HACCP systems and their QA specialists provide technical assistance for producers and suppliers.This is a growth sector so graduates should target in Britain & Ireland. For further information check out their websites.

Meat Industry

There are around numerous abattoirs & factories in the state licensed to kill cattle, poultry, pigs and sheep for export. All these employ graduates on farm inspections for quality assurance (QA) schemes. Graduates with the relevant qualifications and experience can also expect to be employed in sales, marketing, implementing food safety policy and preparing HACCP plans.The major firms include  ABP Group, Dawn Meats, Dunbia , Kepak, Rosderra, Slaney Foods etc,

Rural & Community Development

Substantial resources EU and National resources have been allocated for Rural Development. With Leader Groups/Partnership companies and Enterprise Boards in almost every county there are many opportunities for graduates to become involved.

Graduates who become involved in this sector will open up new opportunities for themselves in successful new enterprises.So check out the National Rural Network and other relevant websites.


Teagasc provides advisory, education, research and training services for the agri food industry in the Republic of Ireland. This semi state organisation has close alliances with similar agencies world wide and employs over 1,200 staff at over 60 loactions .Contracts are advertised regularly on their excellent website.

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