The Northern Ireland Agricultural Research & Development Council (T/A AgriSearch) is seeking to appoint a Field Officer for a fixed period of no more than 12 months to assist with the delivery of a research project.

Background

Recent reports have indicated the average grass utilisation yields on dairy and beef farms throughout Northern Ireland are 7.5 and 4.1 kg DM/ha/year respectively, significantly lower than the genetic potential of modern day grass varieties.  Through a detailed on-farm survey of farmers (dairy and beef) and industry stakeholders from across Northern Ireland this project aims to better understand the barriers that have limited both grass production and utilisation at a farm level.  Specifically, the project will:

  1. Evaluate current farmer attitudes towards grassland production and the utilisation of grass into either milk or beef production
  2. Define the reasons behind the decline in milk / beef from forage production
  3. Understand the factors affecting farmers attitudes to grassland production and utilisation
  4. Evaluate farmers’ knowledge on the quality of grass and ideal pre/post grazing heights
  5. Identify the major perceived challenges farmers face when seeking to improve milk and beef production from forage, and grassland efficiency
  6. Consider the suitability of milk/beef from forage as an industry figure to benchmark technical efficiency
  7. Identify any future research requirements to improve grass and utilisation across Northern Ireland dairy and beef farms.

 

Responsibilities

  • To assist in the design and testing of a survey on grassland management across the Northern Ireland’s dairy and beef sectors
  • To identify potential candidates (farmers and industry stakeholders) for interview
  • To conduct face-to-face interviews with dairy and beef farmers and industry stakeholders from across Northern Ireland
  • To enter and collate the data from the surveys into a database
  • Prepare database for statistical analysis

 

Skills and Attributes

Essential Criteria

  • Have the right interpersonal and communication skills to gain the trust of a diverse range of people.
  • Knowledge of the ruminant livestock sectors
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office (especially word and excel)
  • GCSE (or equivalent) in Mathematics and English at grade C or above
  • As travel throughout Northern Ireland (at times in remote rural areas) is essential the successful candidate must have a full valid driving licence and access to a form of transport that will permit them to meet the requirements of the post in full.

Desirable Criteria

  • Qualification in or currently engaged in a third level course on agriculture, social sciences or related subject

 

To Apply

To download an application pack, click on the link below:

http://www.agrisearch.org/publications/miscellaneous/field-officer-information-pack-and-application-form

The closing date for applications is Monday 10th July at 12 Noon.

We welcome a wide range of applications whether just qualified, gap / sandwich year or already employed.