Mark Troughton, a third generation top fruit grower at Ballinteggart, Portadown, has a passion for working with apples. In order to continue growing apples on the family enterprise, he needed to diversify from primary production and understand more about the business of fruit growing.
After diversifying into cider production, Mark undertook the part-time CAFRE Level II Agricultural Business Operations Certificate course focusing on Commercial Horticulture. The course covered plant production, health and safety, farm business management and Information Technology across the main commercial horticulture crops. Achieving the qualification also enhanced Mark’s eligibility for the Young Farmers’ top-up payment.
“I found the course very informative about the range of horticulture crops grown in Northern Ireland. I really looked forward to my Tuesday evenings at CAFRE,” says Mark.
“As a result of the course I am thinking a lot more about what we do in the orchard and in the cider making business. I now understand more about the technical and financial decisions that have to be made to have a sustainable business,” adds Mark.
The CAFRE Agricultural Business Operations (Level II Certificate) Course is currently open for enrolments and will close at 4pm on Thursday 29 June 2017. You are advised to book your place on this course before the closing date as enrolments after the closing date may not be eligible for entry to the 2017/18 course.
The 2017-18 L2 course in Commercial Horticulture will begin in early October and run weekly for 20 weeks from Loughry Campus in just outside Cookstown.
You can book a place on a course by visiting the CAFRE website. If you require any assistance when booking a place on this training, you can call CAFRE Industry Training on 028 9442 6880 or email: Industry.TrainingAdmin@daera-ni.gov.uk.
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