Day three of the Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk series, which took place on Thursday, 29 February, saw Agri Aware welcome students to Tullamore Farm in Co Offaly.

Some 300 students from 11 schools arrived at the Irish Farmers Journal farm, taking in 12 stands covering areas of the Leaving Cert agriculture science curriculum. Irish Country Living spoke to five students about the subject and what they got out of the event.

Bobby Kilmar, St Joseph’s College Borrisoleigh

“I have a big interest in tractors and machinery so I wanted to link a subject in with my interests, which is why I decided to do agricultural science.

“I found learning about the crops and soil structures interesting. It is good for people who are not from a farming background to get onto a farm because they get to learn about farm safety and see the animals and machinery.”

Stacey Meadhe

Stacey Meadhe, Our Lady’s Secondary School, Templemore

“From a young age, I have always been interested in what was happening on our dairy farm. I decided to do agricultural science for the Leaving Certificate as I thought there would be an overlap from what I know already and what I would learn in the course.

“I am interested in going on to do ag science at third level, either in SETU in Waterford or UCC. I think there are a lot of opportunities in the sector regarding environmental science and sustainability. We do a lot of that in school and I think in the future there will be an increased focus on organic farming.

“I don’t have sheep at home so I was looking forward to seeing them today and I know it will help us in the actual exam, to bring what we see today back to the classroom.”

Liam Brereton

Liam Brereton, Our Lady’s Secondary School, Templemore

“I thought it would be interesting to do agricultural science as I help out at home with milking and calving. I am in sixth year now and I’m really enjoying the course, it is very interesting and covers a wide variety of topics that overlap with what we do at home.

“My favourite part of the course has been the dairy production and learning about the reproduction of animals. I’m hoping to do farming after school but with all the regulations coming in, you don’t know if there is going to be a future in it.

“It’s not sustainable as a business so I am thinking of going on to do a trade in mechanics as a backup. I have enjoyed learning about different aspects at Tullamore Farm and seeing the differences compared to my own farm at home.”

Ava Lyons

Ava Lyons, Gort Community School

“When I was helping out on my nanny’s dairy farm, I developed an interest in agriculture and decided to do agricultural science as a subject for the Leaving Cert. As it is a busy time of the year, I still go up and help on the farm when I can but I have taken a step back.

“I am enjoying the course; I think it is the best science subject as it is very broad. There are definitely opportunities for young people but I need to do some more research on courses to see what I want to do after school.”

Stephen Gleeson

Stephen Gleeson, St Joseph’s College Borrisoleigh

“I have an interest in farming and whenever I am not in school, I am helping out on a farm.

“It’s great to get outdoors out of the classroom and see how things work in a hands-on experience.

“Everybody learns differently and it is a great experience to see everything, from the cattle to the machinery.”

Read more

In pictures: students throng to Tullamore Farm for Agri Aware farm walk

Watch: Agri Aware farm walk and talk on Tullamore Farm