Level 4 and 5 students at Loughry were eligible to apply for each bursary with the winner being selected by written essays, interviews or the highest mark in a particular module by the company.

This is the fifth year of the programme with four new companies providing bursaries this year. In total £16,000 was presented to students.

Speaking at the presentation today, acting director of CAFRE Sam Kennedy said that the links the college has with the industry through initiatives like the bursary competition are important for the students.

“Companies are prepared to put up money to show their commitment to students and young people coming forward into the industry,” he said.

Winning a £1,000 bursary from the Irish Farmers Journal was Ross Burns from Dungannon. He is currently in the second year of the BSc (Hons) Food Business Management degree.

Ross was selected for his essay addressing the topic: “Farming leaders and local politicians often talk about fairness in the food supply chain. What could be done to ensure local farmers are treated fairly and would you do?”

In his essay Ross mentioned addressing the price differential between Britain and NI, promoting NI food and opening markets as well as creating opportunities for young people in the industry.

Other bursary providers were the Bank of Ireland, Karro Food Group, Danske Bank, Dunbia, Fane Valley-Linden Foods, First Trust Bank, LacPatrick Co-op, Moy Park, Multi Packaging Solutions, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, Tyrone Farming Society, Ulster Bank and Willowbrook Fine Foods.

Compulsory BVD scheme begins in Northern Ireland