On Thursday 23 March, over 440 Leaving Cert agricultural science students attended the Agri Aware farm walk and talk at Tullamore Farm, Co Offaly.

Students travelled from all corners of the country for the event.

The students came from a mix of both farming and non-farming backgrounds, but were all equally enthusiastic to gain knowledge from the team of experts speaking across the various stands.

Irish Country Living spoke to some of the students in attendance.

New knowledge

Henry Schultz, a student on exchange from Germany, is in fifth year at St Cuan’s College, Castleblakeney, Co Galway. While he isn’t from a farming background, he has an interest in crop production, leading him to study agricultural science.

He explained that he wanted “to get an overview of how you raise cattle or sheep” from the walk and talk.

For James Brennan and Seán Ellis, students at Terenure College, Dublin, seeing a farm wasn’t a new experience, but the stands helped them gain more insight into the variety of career options in the agri sector.

Agricultural science students James Brennan and Seán Ellis from Terenure College, Dublin.

“I liked the agri-business,” said James. “Maybe the chance to go abroad anywhere, just to work away.”

“The sheep was good, the food was good and the agri-business,” said Seán of the stands he enjoyed the most.

Benefits of the farm

Cousins Megan and Caitriona O’Hagan from Crana College in Buncrana, Co Donegal, were looking forward to the farm and how the day could benefit them in their chosen courses in college.

Students Megan and Caitriona O'Hagan travelled to Tullamore from Crana College, Buncrana, Co Donegal.

“We’re both from farms and we both want to do agriculture in college,” said Caitriona.

Asked what area she is most interested in, she said: “Probably sustainable produce and environmental awareness.”

Megan explained that she is hoping to study veterinary nursing in college and focus on livestock animals.

The girls found sheep the most interesting stand of the day, while Megan added: “The beef exported each year and the amount of suckler cattle in Ireland - I didn’t know that.”

'A great day out'

Students Molly Hanafey, Katie Kennedy, Áine Dwyer, Leah Byrne, Shannon Keane and Katie Farrell from St Farnan's Post Primary in Prosperous, Co Kildare, enjoyed having a day out at the farm.

When asked what they were most excited about on the day, they were all in agreement - getting to see the animals.

They explained that seeing the farm has been beneficial for their ag science projects they are working on at the moment, which require “lots of research and sources”.

They enjoyed learning about the sheep systems and seeing the calving sheds at Tullamore Farm.

As for what led them to study agricultural science?

“It’s good craic,” they said.

Read more

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