By Darren Houston,
Lecturer, CAFRE, Greenmount Campus
CHRISTMAS came early for 24 successful agriculture and horticulture students with the CAFRE Bursary programme at Greenmount Campus.
A total of £24,500 was distributed in the awards presentation on Friday, December 7.
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, Devenish Nutrition, Dunbia, Fane Valley, Genus ABS, Gibson Trust, Irish Farmers’ Journal, John Thompson and Sons Ltd, Moy Park, National Beef Association, Out There Services, 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 2018 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, Dr Eric Long, Head of CAFRE Knowledge Advisory Service, 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. Two of the companies were represented by recent CAFRE graduates, Emma Nelson from Dunbia and Jonathan Ewing from Genus ABS. Jonathan Ewing was the recipient of the Genus ABS bursary in 2015.
Thomas Barnett and Amanda McCrea, representing Fane Valley, commented on the amount of work that had gone into the submissions and also the strong performance of the candidates at interview.
Sophie Thompson, a student on the BSc (Honours) Agricultural Technology degree programme, was the recipient of the John Thompson & Sons bursary. Sophie 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.”