A MEMBER of Portlaoise Macra na Féirme was among the first to graduate from a Young Farmer Skillnet programme entitled Leadership for Young Professionals.
Jennifer Keegan from the Portlaoise branch, along with nine other people from branches across the country, took part in the four-month leadership certificate course in University College Cork.
The programme was designed to familiarise those taking part with the issues and challenges that are faced by new managers within owner-manager and SME agri-business enterprises. The programme blended theories of leadership and management with case studies and practical activities.
The course was developed in conjunction with the Agri-Food Graduate Development Programme (AFGDP) in University College Cork. A unique element of the programme was the targeting of young professionals who have been identified as having high leadership potential. Providing these with formal leadership training at this stage of their careers should accelerate their leadership capabilities individually and for their organisations.
Nine face-to-face training days were held in UCC over the four-month period, with additional extracurricular learning in between. Those who took part studied theories of leadership, career management, finance for non-financial managers, motivation, performance management, critical thinking, team development and decision making. Each student successfully passed an assessment to demonstrate mastery of these topics.
The completion of the course was perfectly timed, as applications are now open for the Macra/ABP Leaders of the Year Awards 2018. This award is open to applications from all those who hold an officership at county or regional level of Macra. Officers can apply or be nominated on macra.ie/leaderoftheyear.