News: Exciting Business Development Manager Role

FRS Network is a farm service provider to the Irish Farming Industry since 1980 and now seeks an enthusiastic Business Development Manager to drive its business forward. This exciting opportunity will involve analysis of current and new business growth areas, strategic planning and delivery of results.


Role will include:

Operator recruitment planning and development

Analysis and development of growth strategies for current and new business opportunities

Use of IT and social media to drive business forward

Supporting and mentoring FRS managers and staff


Ideal candidate will have:

Proven record in people and business management

Development and delivery of strategic business plans with proven results

2-3 years experience

Good communication skills

Enthusiastic and motivated about the role

Own car and full drivers licence

Academic business background and a background in the Agricultural Industry would be beneficial


Please e-mail CV  to


Posted in FRS Archives

Sprayer Training Course gives Farmers a whole new perspective

Ruaidhrí Deasy is a tillage farmer from Borrisokane in County Tipperary who completed his boom sprayer course with FRS Training.  Ruaidhrí found the course itself to be extremely worthwhile and would encourage other farmers to do it.  He learned things he never knew before even after having sprayed for 45 years.

“When I first heard about the spray compliance requirements I thought ‘, not another compliance thing – I have been spraying for 45 years’, but I learned a lot on the course.  The main thing was on the protective clothing, such as the gloves and masks which we now use all the time when spraying and how to read the labels to know the various harmful toxins.”

The Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) stipulates that all professional users such as farmers and distributers of plant protection products, are now required to be trained and registered with the department before they spray.  The training involved focuses on pesticide application which includes Boom Sprayers and Knapsack Sprayers.  Farmers need to ensure that they are compliant.

Jim Dockery is a training manager with FRS and commented; “We have trained over 12,500 people to date through our QQI Pesticide Application Course which is compulsory for all professional users, including farmers under the new SUD.

Jim noticed that a lot of farmer’s attitudes towards the training changed after completing the course.

“Many farmers admitted that they were attending because they had to or they thought they would not be able to purchase pesticides if they didn’t, but after the course their attitudes shifted completely.  Many realised they knew very little about the sprayer, it’s parts or how to calibrate it at all.”

The farmers that completed the course learned a lot about the sprayer and nozzles , the timing of the spray and how to interpret rates and volumes.  Jim said that one farmer said to him; ‘Jim since last week I measured my sprayer nozzles on the 2000l trailed sprayer and realised that 10% of my nozzles were way out, I reckon this course could save me €20,000 over the year with additional spray costs as I spray over 600 acres of tillage.”

Another Tilage farmer, Tony Bell from North Dublin also attended the FRS Training Course organised through NAD (National Agrochemical Distributors) and was host farm for the course.  Tony himself has a new 24 meter boom sprayer with a 3,200 litre tank and acknowledges how important it actually is to do the course.

“I am passionate about not wasting time around the farm and I want to get the job done as effectively as possible. Although I have been spraying for about 30 years, doing the spraying course with FRS kept my knowledge topped up and this is important in order to do things right and I believe through repetition you become more effective.”

Trainer Jim Dockery also noticed that from speaking to farmers, recording the use of pesticides to be compliant is an issue for them.

“Feedback from farmers told us that recording the use of pesticides to be compliant is a big issue for them.  Many did not know where to find or how to complete the sprayer application field record and very few realised this was already part of cross compliance since 2012.  FRS have consulted with the department of Agriculture and has developed an easy way for completing field records on your phone.  Visit for all information.”


What does the future hold for Sprayer Compliance?

The next compliance directive is only around the corner with the deadline on November 26th 2016.  Basically it is similar to an NCT for a car only it’s for your sprayer and FRS training have built up a team of engineer inspectors who are qualified and registered with the department to deliver this on farm service to farmers.

Under Irish legislation all sprayers must be tested once before the coming November 26th deadline.  The test will cover the sprayer until 2020.  After that a test will be carried out every three years after 2020.  This legislation refers to all boom sprayers (above 3m) and blast/orchard sprayers.

Many advantages come with the testing of sprayers outside of being compliant:

  • Testing will regulate and rationalise the amount of spray which will reduce waste and save money.
  • The chance of mid-season breakdown is also reduced if your sprayer is tested.
  • When it comes to NCT, for resale purposes, your sprayer will greatly benefit from the test if in proper working order with official certification.
  • Testing your sprayer will protect you, your operator, employees and general public from health and safety risks associated with pesticides.


Contact FRS Training on 1890 20 1000 or visit for further information on sprayer training, testing and other courses.

Further information on registration and training an also all hard copies of registration forms are available on




Posted in FRS Archives

Award-Winning Farm App Now Tackles New Spray Compliance

Herdwatch, the farm compliance app currently in use by thousands of farmers nationally, has just announced new features to assist Irish farmers with spray reporting requirements.

Developed in response to farmer demand, the new app allows farmers to effectively manage farm compliance anywhere on any device (smartphone, tablet or computer).

Jim Dockery, FRS Training Manager said ‘We have trained over 12,500 people through our QQI Pesticide Application Course which is compulsory for all professional users, including farmers, under the new Sustainable Use Directive. From experience and feedback from farmers recording the use of pesticides to be compliant is a big issue for them and Herdwatch has developed an easy way for this to be done through the App on your phone saving farmers time and hassle. We will definitely be recommending it at our training courses and are confident that it will solve this spray recording problem for farmers in the future.

With over 3,000 farmers nationally using Herdwatch, the focus is on assisting farmers, not only to accurately report on compliance, but also save time on previously lengthy paperwork requirements.

The app provides assistance not only with spray reporting, but also helps livestock farmers with Bord Bia remedy and feed purchases recording, calf birth registrations, weight recording, and the full breeding cycle.

A free trial is available for those looking to test the app out, with app founder Fabien Peyaud encouraging farmers to embrace technology to help simplify farm management.

“The free trial allows farmers to see for themselves what Herdwatch can do, and we also have a dedicated support team to deal with any queries.” Fabien said. “The app is available for Apple and Android devices and our team are constantly working to develop the features in response to new farmer demands.”

The Herdwatch app was launched in 2014 by FRS (Farm Relief Services), and has since won numerous prestigious awards such as the National Ploughing Championship Award for Software Innovation in Agriculture, and the AIB Start-up Academy award.

Posted in FRS Archives

You have to make time to get away

 Farming in Ireland today is recorded as being not only one of the most dangerous occupations but also one of the most demanding with statistics showing that farmers continue to work the longest hours per week. It requires a lot of time and dedication and so many farmers every year continue to farm without taking a break.  Not only does their family time suffer but also their health.

Jeremy O’ Hanlon from Cloyne in county Cork has been farming all his life. His farm is spread across 120 acres which demands a lot of time and effort on a daily basis.

“I could easily spend up to 75 hours a week if not more working on the farm, it never stops.”

For Jeremy and his wife Anne family life is very important.  Every summer without fail they take the three children Shane, Sarah and Áine on holidays.  They have been going on holidays since they got married almost 18 years ago and from the get go they have used Farm Relief Services to take care of the work on the farm while they are away.

“I got married in 1998 so ever since then I have been using Farm Relief to take care of the farm while I am away.  Ever since we started going on holidays, I would call FRS and they would always send someone reliable out to me that would get the work done.”


jeremy cork 1

Farm Relief has always played a strong role in Jeremy’s life as his dad also used farm relief whenever he needed help on the farm.

“My dad was involved with Farm Relief too and if he ever got sick he use to ring them to come and help him or to cover for him if he was in hospital.”

Jeremy thinks it is vital for farmers nowadays to take a well-deserved break during the summer months.  Not only is it beneficial to the Farmer’s health it gives the farmer some quality time with the family.

“I think it’s so important for farmers to take a break during the summer months, your so strained and tired constantly you need it.  If you don’t take a break you are going to be stuck on the farm all year long and it’s not good for you.  It’s great to get away and you have to make the time to get away.  It’s great for all the family too.”

The same FRS operator, James Barry, has been coming to Jeremy’s farm for the past 6 or 7 years and has never let him down.  Jeremy feels confident leaving for holidays knowing that he can put his trust in him to get the work done and have his mind at ease during his time away.

“I have the same lad, James, coming to me for the past 6 or 7 years so he knows the ropes.  I’m delighted to be getting the same lad every year.  I’m happy with that because I know he will get the job done and I can enjoy the holiday knowing that there’s a confident guy there running the show.” 

Jeremy and his family have plans already in place for this summer having booked a week away in the Netherlands.  Plans have been made with Farm Relief who will be sending his usual reliable operator out to the farm to run the show whilst he is away.

“This summer we are going to the Netherlands for 8 days and we are really looking forward to it. I have everything sorted with farm relief.  I always ring them in good time to let them know when I will be going but everything always runs so smoothly they do a great job and I would never look back.”

FRS are there to tend to the farmers needs during any time of the year when farmers wish to take a break from farming life. Trained workers are sent out to the farm to cover all the farm work which guarantees to put the farmer’s minds at ease.

To find out more about farm relief services visit


Posted in FRS Archives

Working as an FRS Operator

With 20 offices nationwide Farm Relief Services are strong employers. Spring and summer are the busiest times of the year for FRS.  Recent surveys carried out show that there is a requirement for approximately 200 workers for seasonal roles.  Relief workers are needed for milking, general farm work and calf rearing positions that generally last three to four months.

Being an FRS operator is a flexible role which suits people in many areas such as young people looking for experience, those with spare capacity outside of their own farm work and even women who can work while their children are at school.

TJ Heffernan started working with FRS in Cahir fifteen years ago and has never looked back.  TJ himself had farming experience with a background in farming having farmed all his life.  Whilst working with FRS TJ became an operator going out and working on farms on a daily basis.

“I had been farming all of my life myself, but basically what I came in doing first was milking and I didn’t need any training on the milking because I was always milking myself”.

Although TJ did not need training with the milking, FRS provides training to all new operators starting within the business.  Over the years with FRS TJ started Freeze branding and was trained how to properly do it by the FRS trainers before going out on the farm.  Although he would put his hand to anything on the farm, these days TJ mainly specialises in Freeze branding and Plastic collection.

“After a few years I went into Freeze branding, that’s what I am at mostly for the past 12 years and FRS provided all the training for that which was great.  I also do the plastic collection too which keeps me going”.

 FRS are always there to help their customers out, when the farmers ring they know exactly what they need and want and so send the operators out that will suit their exact needs.  TJ said at times you could spend up to five hours a day on a farm all depending on the work load.

“You could spend up to four or five hours at any given time on the farm, it all depends on how many animals are in the place but generally it takes about three hours”.

FRS are continuously looking for people to come along and join the team.  There is a need for workers all the time as they are in high demand by the farmers particularly during this busy season.  TJ thinks that working with FRS is great and the fact that they provide training is even better.

“Working as an operator with FRS is great and more people should be looking into getting work with them, they provide the training too which is excellent.  I think lads coming out of college should definitely be looking into it even on a part time basis”.

If you are interested in becoming a FRS operator head to our website and fill out the online application form




Posted in FRS Archives

Agricultural Advisors required in Clare and Mayo

Agri Advisors Clare and MayoA

Posted in FRS Archives

Agri Aware’s Farm and Countryside Safety Drama ‘Once upon a Farm’


Posted in FRS Archives

Job Opening in FRS Training

FRS Training: Office Administrator, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

FRS Training are an established training company who deliver accredited and non-accredited courses to various sectors including; construction skills, health and safety and agriculture. FRS wish to recruit an Office Administrator, on an initial short term contract, to support the delivery and accreditation of various training courses held nationwide. The role will be based at FRS Boyle.

Responsibilities include:

  • Managing incoming calls and queries as necessary;
  • Preparation and distribution of course materials to tutors;
  • Sorting, categorising and scanning learner certificates;
  • Maintaining course participation records;
  • Liaising with training stakeholders including; trainers, sales manager and learners;
  • Working closely with senior administration in support of QQI and Solas course requirements;
  • General office administration as required.

Candidate requirements:

  • Strong communication skills;
  • Good coordination and attention to detail;
  • Ability to work effectively as part of an extended team and also to work independently;
  • Competent in the use of Microsoft Office;
  • Previous administrative experience, 1-2 years.

Location: Boyle Roscommon

Duration: July / Aug 2016, possible extension. Preferably seeking a candidate with ongoing availability.

Please submit your CV and Cover Letter to

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Mucking in for Farm Safety


Boom demo at ploughing

Compulsory spraying training and testing will be demonstrated at the FRS Training and HSA Farm Safety Demonstrations at the Grass and Muck highlighting the main health and safety elements of pesticide spraying, handing and sprayer operation and testing. Make sure you are compliant and come along for all the information you need.



FRS Training (Farm Relief Services), and the HSA (Health and Safety Authority) are rolling up their sleeves and mucking in to bring practical interactive farm safety demonstrations to the forefront of this year’s FTMA Grass and Muck on the 12th of May in Gurteen, Co. Tipperary.

The organisations will be focusing on three farm hazard areas, safe handling of bales and crush zones , PTO safety and spraying compliance in an interactive and engaging way to stress the everyday dangers and show farming families how safety can be improved down on the farm.

An area of focus during the event will be on the safe operation of machinery when handling bales with emphasis on ‘crush zones’ during this task and preventing impact injuries. Topics such as the right equipment and attachment, stacking and de-stacking of bales, transporting and loading bales, will form part of the demonstrations to help farmers to control the hazard and minimise the risks. Information on managing workload, stress and pressure will also be available as these link strongly to the cause of accidents.


PTO Demonstration set up and ready to show the consequences of an unprotected PTO by FRS Training and the HSA at the FTMTA Grass and Muck on May 12th. Make sure to go along to find out ways to improve farm safety on your farm and to see the consequences live.

Speaking about ‘crush zone’ accidents, Pat Griffin Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority says: “I believe many of these crush injuries and deaths are actually caused by excessive workload, pressure, stress, improvising and taking short cuts. These factors coupled with fatigue, can be a lethal combination. By managing workload the risks can be reduced.”

Turning to an area that farmers need to be compliant in and protect their health and the environment is pesticide spraying and sprayer testing, which will be demonstrated on the day. Along with the safe operation of PTO’s the farm safety demonstrations will cover many areas that are important for farmers to know.

There was a 40% decrease in the number of fatalities last year compared to the year before, but farming remains the most dangerous occupation in Ireland. Around 2,500 non-fatal accidents causing injury occur on farms annually, which are not widely communicated, but often heavily impact on the continuation of the farm work and the farmer. FRS Training and the HSA are very proactive when it comes to bringing public awareness to farm safety and strives to reduce these figures once again by bringing these live demonstrations to farmers.


The consequences of an unprotected PTO demonstrating the shredding impact that can happen, which will be demonstrated by FRS Training and the HSA at the FTMTA Grass and Muck on May 12th. Make sure to go along to find out ways to improve farm safety on your farm.

Jim Dockery from FRS Training said “we encourage farmers to ‘Farm Safely & Responsibly’. This involves training themselves, their staff and their families through the many health and safety courses and demonstrations available. At the event we will demonstrate the consequences of poor farm safety practices and demonstrate the simple practical changes that can be made to achieve good farm safety practices.”

Pat Griffin from the HSA said “events like these are important to bring farm safety to the fore in an engaging way and to give people practical advice to remember and implement on their return to the farm.”

Preparations are currently underway for the FTMTA Grass and Muck which is taking place on May 12th so be sure to head along to the Farm Safety Demonstration stand on the day.  There will be plenty of practical demonstrations ongoing, including safe bale handling, Tractor PTO demos, and pesticide sprayer safety demos as well as some excellent general farm safety advice.

On the run up to the show, FRS is giving away a set of tickets to the Grass and Muck.  To be in with a chance of winning a set of these tickets visit   Like, Share and Tag two friends on the post to be entered into the draw.

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Farming – Sticking with it Since Day One

Barry O’ Gorman’s farm is situated about 4 miles outside of Thurles town where he lives with his wife Bridget and three children Stephanie, Fiachra and Tadhg.  Barry is farming over twenty years and over those years has availed of many of the services farm relief has to offer. One year on after the milk quota abolition, many changes have happened on farms throughout Ireland Barry in particular is satisfied with where his farm is currently at.

Farming life is very important to Barry who says he has “stuck with it from day one”.  His farm is spread across 200 acres which keeps him busy on a day to day basis.  Over the past year since the abolition of the milking quotas he has planned and expanded his herd to suit his requirements.

“We have increased numbers over the past year from 90 to 140.  We’re farming 200 acres and we keep a small store to store beef as well”.

Farm Relief offer many services to their customers and Barry loves the fact that he can avail of the services if and when he needs them.  Barry does not have the need to have workers constantly on the farm but when he needs work done he never has to worry.

“In our situation, the farm isn’t big enough to sustain a labour unit but we use Farm Relief whenever we need them which is great.”


IMG_0540 barry ogorman

Farmer Barry O’ Gorman and Son Fiachra working away on their farm just outside Thurles Co. Tipperary


The past few months have proved rather busy for Barry with Calving season.  During this time Farm Relief sent him out a worker who helped him ‘religiously’ during the peak times.

“My worker only finished last Saturday, he was with me for 8 weeks because we were so busy and needed help during the calving season.”

Barry and his workers hit the ground running at the start of calving season and calved 90% of his cows.  It greatly helped having help on his side to get the work done efficiently.

“We calved 90% of our cows in the first six weeks of the season from the first of February right up to Paddy’s day.  That time is our peak demand and the worker from Farm Relief was there for me 6 days a week during that time which was great.”

Like any other farmer, Barry needs help every once in a while especially when it comes to the more skilled and specialised farm tasks like Freeze branding, de-horning and hoof care.

“I definitely need help with the more skilled stuff like hoof care and the freeze branding.  I need someone trained and skilled to come in and do that and the FRS workers I get never have a bother.”

Even though Barry’s family help him out every now and again he relies on the help of the trained Farm relief workers to come out and help him.  For him it’s complete satisfaction and reassurance knowing the work will get done whilst he carries on with other farm work.

“We can’t sustain the labour unit all the time and I can’t be relying on the family labour, they do help out but they are not there all the time – you can’t expect them to be.  Farm Relief are always obliging.  I would most definitely recommend them.  The workers are all skilled and have been on training courses too so they know what it is all about and always get stuck right in.”

For the near future Barry doesn’t plan to expand much more and is happy with his increase to 140 cows.  It was a target reached and he is satisfied.  Due to the increase in numbers, Barry predicts this summer to be pretty hectic for them and so plans to contract out farm relief for the evening milkings.  For him the beauty of the whole thing is being able to continue working on his farm worry free.

“This summer because our numbers have increased we will contract out the evening milking to Farm Relief and that’s my plan going forward.  I won’t have to worry at all and can go on about my business while they tend to the milking.  It’s great really”.

Barry also has the added peace of mind that if he couldn’t work his farm tomorrow due to an accident or sickness he could call in FRS to take over under his membership benefit scheme visit www/ for more details on the scheme.

Contact FRS Roscrea on 0505 21166 or FRS Cahir on 052 7441 598 and like the FRS Facebook page.


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