Not only are all 30 places at Enniskillen Agricultural College booked out for the next two sessions but already 13 students have been advanced enrolled for 1972 and four for 1973.
In his principal’s report to Friday’s prize day, Mr R Houston stressed the “increased awareness” by the farming community of the need for some form of agricultural education for young people entering the industry.
Said Mr Houston: “Compared with this time last year many more applications for admission to this college have been received.
“Indeed, I can tell you now that for our next session starting in September, 1970, not only have we our full complement of 30 students advanced enrolled but another 24 applicants will be called for interview to fill the places left vacant by people falling out.
“Even more encouraging is the fact that for the session starting in 1971, our full complement has already been advance enrolled. For that matter we already have 13 advanced enrolled for 1972 and four for 1973.
“I think that these figures auger well for the future not only of this college but all other agricultural colleges. I am convinced that whatever the future may have in store for agriculture in this country, the industry will be in a better position to meet that future if those entering it are well educated and properly trained.”
Referring to the 28 students who had just completed their course, Mr Houston stressed that while he could not guarantee that they would all be successful farmers “from this day forth” at least they had taken a step in the right direction.
By having a one-year certificate course in agriculture they should be in a better position to face the future.
In an appeal to parents for continued encouragement, the principal added: “I know that almost all the parents of our students are present and while your encouragement and in some cases your difficulties in running the farm while they were here must be acknowledge, I would ask you to continue this encouragement by giving them a say in the running of the farm when they return home.
“While the majority are going back to farming right away some are anxious to continue their agricultural education by attending the Advanced Certificate Course at Greenmount and this will involve further encouragement by you the parents.”