Dairygold has awarded two undergraduate bursaries to agricultural science students at University College Cork (UCC).

The successful students will receive an annual bursary for the duration of their four-year undergraduate studies at UCC and will also be offered the opportunity of a work placement with Dairygold.

This year’s recipients are Paul O’Brien from Lismore, Co Waterford, and Barry Stratford from Virginia, Co Cavan, who are both in their first year of the bachelor of agricultural science course at UCC.

Group head of human resources at Dairygold Adrian Beatty said: “This collaboration forms part of our strategy to create a high-calibre pipeline of talent which will ultimately strengthen our organisation.”

Dairy heartland

Dairygold’s sponsorship of the bursaries began in 2019 to mark the introduction of the first agricultural science degree at UCC.

The recipients are selected following an application process and are required to submit an annual progress report for the duration of their degree.

Head of the school of biological, earth and environmental sciences Professor Andy Wheeler said: “UCC is ideally situated in the dairy heartland of Ireland, allowing our students the unique opportunity to experience state-of-the art farm management practices alongside the workings of a global food business such as Dairygold.”

Brightest and best

UCC was recently ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for the study of agriculture and forestry.

The agricultural science course is taught by the school of biological, earth and environmental sciences, UCC, with input from across the university and in close collaboration with Teagasc.

Director of Teagasc Professor Gerry Boyle said the degree is especially tailored to attract those with a particular passion for dairying.

“Our target from the outset has been to attract Ireland’s brightest and best and as evidenced by this year’s recipients, we are certainly succeeding in this regard.

“Grounded in science-based research, this unique and exciting course delivers the knowledge, innovation, technologies and business acumen, necessary to underpin the profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of Irish dairying and the wider agri-food industry.”