Graduate chooses CAFRE for blend of learning and practical experience

Campus Allister SM Farm

My name is Alistair Craig and I completed the Foundation Degree in Agriculture course at CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, in 2013.

I was attracted to the course because it had a good mix of classroom and practical work. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Greenmount Campus, especially the month I spent in Canada gaining work experience on a 2,000 acre arable farm in Gilbert Plains near Winnipeg in Manitoba.

This was a great opportunity that provided me with great experience, broadened my outlook and gave me an interest in further travel. As a result, once I completed my degree, I spent six months travelling in New Zealand, Australia and the USA.

Following that, I returned to the family farm near Ballykelly to work alongside my father and uncle. The farm is a dairying enterprise of 250 cows and an arable enterprise of 250 acres. On returning to the farm, I have taken on responsibility for upgrading the machinery fleet with a keen focus on improving efficiency and minimising soil compaction.

Since leaving Greenmount Campus I have maintained my links with CAFRE through working with the local Development Advisers. The farm has always been involved with the Advisory Service over the years and this has continued with membership of three BDG groups in Cereals, Dairying and recently an Environmental group.

Membership of the groups helps us to keep up to date with new technology, share experiences and learn from other farmers in the area.

Completing the physical and financial benchmarking through CAFRE helps us target areas where we can improve the business performance to helping secure the future.

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