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Accumulating a blend of training and experience

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MY name is Megan Kirkland and I am originally from Coagh, County Tyrone.

After finishing Cookstown High School I embarked on a BSc (Hons) Food Management and Marketing at CAFRE, Loughry campus. I graduated in 2014 and immediately began working in the food processing sector in Gilfresh Produce in the Human Resources department. I then progressed onto the Graduate Trainee Management Programme with Dale Farm and then moved to Karro Food Group as a Human Resources Officer.

Whilst employed in the food industry, I was made aware of the wide provision of short courses that Loughry campus offer. In 2017 I was able to avail of and complete the Level 4 Food Safety Management for Manufacturing –this definitely enhanced my food safety knowledge and it was great to be able to relate the theory to my workplace.

After the Level 4 Food Safety I completed ‘train the trainer’; this course enabled me to deliver food safety training to all the factory operatives.

I am also an associate member of Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and I have completed an Institute of Leadership and Management award.

I currently help my brother with his new venture (dairy and pigs), I work part time for the education authority and my husband has 50,000 laying hens – there is a lot of work here too!

I returned to Loughry campus in spring 2021 to complete Level 2 Award in Understanding HACCP (RSPH) with CAFRE, Loughry campus. As a Loughry campus graduate, it was great to return to avail of their extensive short course programme.

The next step for my brother and I is to embark on setting up our own food processing business; we are setting up a facility that sells our own pasteurised milk through a milk vending machine in glass bottles on the farm.

This is a very exciting time for us! We found the training and support excellent and we will definitely return to complete further short courses.

n For further information about the range of food safety course that CAFRE offers can be found at www.cafre.ac.uk

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