Final year students from the school of agriculture and food science of University College Dublin (UCD) attended the annual careers fair organised by the ag soc committee on 28 February.

Over 55 companies from across the sector met with the prospective employees to discuss graduate programmes, further education pathways and career opportunities in the sector.

In his welcoming address, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue commended the students for organising the event and highlighted the important role young graduates play in Ireland's food production.

“In bringing together Irish agri-food companies from right across the sector with yourselves, as graduates from agriculture, food science and human nutrition, it opens up opportunities and networks to you where you can work mutually together in what is a vitally important sector in the years ahead."

He continued: "Addressing the absolute need to produce food for a growing global population while mitigating climate change and also domestically improving water quality and reversing biodiversity loss presents a whole new set of challenges, but also a whole new set of opportunities as well."

Supporting the regional economy

"Our own great sector touches off and supports every single parish in the country. An agricultural course ensures a balanced regional economy and will play a key role in delivering on our climate change ambitions as well," said Minister McConalogue.

These students have an important role to play in the future of the sector, as they will lead on future developments and initiatives that will improve our capability to produce food, he added.

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