Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Agriculture student at CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, writes:
HI, I am Joseph McGookin and I come from a beef and sheep farm just outside Ballyclare in County Antrim.
I am currently studying on the first year of the Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Agriculture course at Greenmount Campus, CAFRE.
From an early age I have had a keen interest in farming and all aspects of the agricultural industry and I knew that I wanted to follow a career in agriculture.
Following the completion of my GCSEs at Ballyclare Secondary School I enrolled on the Level 2 Diploma in Agriculture course at Greenmount Campus.
Having successfully completed the Level 2 course last year I decided to continue my studies at Greenmount and I enrolled on the three-year Level 3 course.
I am really enjoying my time studying at Greenmount Campus as there are lots of opportunities to development my practical skills on the college farms.
During the summer I worked for 12 weeks at the CAFRE Greenmount Dairy Centre. I really enjoyed this work as it gave me good experience and an insight into the management of a high yielding herd of dairy cows and the importance of good grassland management.
I was also involved in the preparations for several large events at Greenmount Campus such as the Open Farm Weekend.
This work highlighted to me the importance of teamwork in successfully preparing for large events or projects.
I haven’t decided what I want to do after I complete my course but I am enjoying developing my skills and knowledge that will give me the opportunity to progress onto higher level courses at CAFRE or take up full-time employment within the agriculture sector.