My name is Chloe Farrell and I am Operations Manager with Ballylisk of Armagh, a small Artisan cheesemaker producing a range of award winning cheeses.
I secured this role with Ballylisk of Armagh after graduating with a BSc in Food Technology from CAFRE, Loughry campus.
This role has provided me with an amazing opportunity to experience a wide range of skills from new product development, production management, to sales and marketing.
My interest in food started at an early age with me really enjoying studying food related subjects for GCSE and thought working within the food industry would be a great opportunity.
Loughry was on my doorstep and I believed it was the ideal place for me to progress my studies and would enable me to increase my knowledge in food production and the science behind it.
My dad studied Agriculture at Loughry in the 1980s and living at home on a farm really encouraged my decision to progress my studies in the agri-food sector.
I then followed in my dad’s footsteps by embarking on the National Diploma in Food Technology at CAFRE, Loughry campus. The National Diploma provided me with a firm foundation to move onto the BSc in Food Technology, of which the transition was very smooth and enabled me to build upon the knowledge already gained.
I really enjoyed the practical aspects of my courses at Loughry campus, this supported the lectures and helped me understand the science behind food manufacture. I feel that the theory and the practical elements of the courses at Loughry campus, supported by the innovative equipment, are essential for a career within the food industry.
I have worked at Ballylisk from June 2019, working part time while completing the final year of my BSc and then securing my current role on a full time basis.
My role is varied and can involve production planning, quality management systems, monitoring and processing customer orders, sales, logistics and finances.
I have only positive experiences from my education and work within the agri-food sector and I would encourage anyone with an interest in food to consider this as a career path. Working within the food industry can lead to an amazing career and endless opportunities.
With the excellent education and personal development opportunities I received at Loughry campus I feel that I have all the necessary skills and competencies to meet the daily challenges I encounter.
Having studied at Loughry campus also gave me the opportunity to get to know the support provided by the Food Technology Branch to the Northern Ireland food sector. I am currently working with Dairy Technologist Gary Andrews on the development of new products to ensure Ballylisk remains innovative in a very competitive and challenging market.