THE recent Food Bursary Awards at Loughry Campus, saw 17 higher education students from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural En-terprise (CAFRE) awarded with £17,000. The food degree students were presented with the industry bursaries, which they secured this academic year.
As living costs continue to rise, these bursaries, each with a value of £1,000, help Loughry students with the costs associated with higher education. They are also recognition of the value placed by the agri-food industry on supporting future leaders.
With £17,000 of bursaries awarded this year and 95 per cent of CAFRE graduates gaining employment or progressing to further study within six months of graduation, Loughry’s close links to the sector provide any young person considering a career in the food and drink industry with a real advantage. Graduates from the Food Technology, Food Innovation and Nutrition and Food Business Management courses are in demand to fill a wide range of roles across the food supply chain.
The bursary programme at Loughry continues to go from strength to strength with another new bursary this year being provided by Sofina Foods, Cookstown, which awarded a £1,000 bursary. Many of the other bursary providers offer paid work placements with the award, providing Loughry students with the opportunity to gain excellent experience of the industry and to apply their campus-based learning within the workplace.
CAFRE Director Martin McKendry thanked the industry and praised the students during the event: “Studying on higher education programmes is an expensive endeavour and I am delighted to acknowledge those within our agri-food industry who provide generous bursaries to our students.
“The winners of the bursaries have all put in a significant effort to impress their respective bursary providers with entries that have been of an extremely high standard. CAFRE is deeply indebted to all bursary providers, and I applaud their generosity and willingness to support young people involved in higher education at Loughry campus who have the potential to become future leaders within our agri-food industry.”
During her vote of thanks, Cathy Parke, final year Food Technology student, said: “Not only are bursaries an incentive to work harder, they give us the opportunity to invest in our education. Events like today allow us to create industry links, meeting you all today could be very beneficial to us in the future.”
This year the sponsors that have shown their appreciation of the future talent that Loughry is developing include ABP Food Group, Bank of Ireland, Dale Farm Ltd, Danske Bank, Dunbia, Fane Valley, Glanbia Cheese Ltd, Henderson’s Food Group, Irish Farmers’ Journal, Kerry Omagh, Kerry Portadown, Lakeland Dairies, Mash Direct, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA), Sofina Foods, Cookstown, Tyrone Farming Society and Westrock, Belfast.
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