By Darren Houston,
Lecturer, CAFRE, Greenmount Campus
BURSARIES to the value of £24,000 were officially presented to 24 successful agriculture and horticulture students at the Awards Presentation on Friday, December 13, at Greenmount Campus.
This year’s bursaries were generously provided by ABP Food Group, AI Services Ltd, Bank of Ireland, Bulrush Horticulture Ltd, Calor Ltd, Cogent, Dale Farm, Danske Bank, Dunbia, Fane Valley, Genus ABS, Gibson Trust, Idverde, Irish Farmers’ Journal, John Thompson and Sons Ltd, Lakeland Dairies, Moy Park, National Beef Association, Tyrone Farming Society, Ulster Farmers’ Union, Ulster Grassland Society and Yara.
As expected, there was very high competition for the bursaries from Higher Education students at Greenmount Campus who commenced their studies in September 2019 on the BSc Agricultural Technology Honours Degree, the Foundation Degree in Agriculture and Technology and the Foundation Degree in Horticulture.
Speaking at the Awards Presentation ceremony, Mr Martin McKendry, CAFRE Director, thanked the industry representatives for their generosity and willingness to support young people entering higher education within the sector.
The bursary sponsors praised the high quality of work by all students participating and congratulated them on their efforts. Several companies were represented by past CAFRE graduates, such as Claire Windrum who graduated in June 2019 and presented the award on behalf of Dunbia.
Andrew Morrison, from Yara, commented: “Yara are delighted to invest and support students within the agriculture industry in Northern Ireland.” Wesley Aston, Ulster Farmers’ Union, told the students “you are the future of our industry and we were delighted to see such a level of interest”.
Sarah Davidson, a student on the BSc (Honours) Agricultural Technology degree programme, was the recipient of the Gibson Trust bursary for County Antrim. Sarah thanked the sponsors for their support on behalf of all bursary recipients. “The bursary programme is not just about the money – it provides students with an opportunity to network with industry representatives with placement opportunities offered by a number of the bursary providers. Students who were interviewed as part of the selection process also found it a very valuable exercise.”