Sean Tonra

ADM The Archer- Daniels-Midland Company


I hail from a grass-based beef production system in the west of Ireland. It was a natural progression to study Agricultural Science in University College Dublin (BAgrSc) due to my growing interest in the sector.

I studied Animal and Crop Production.

The course opened my eyes to the global nature, scientific basis and foundations of agriculture, while leaving my options flexible after graduation.

Job responsibilities

I have just completed my first 14 months with ADM at their crush plant facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Every week has brought new challenges. In the main I was responsible for global bulk shipping logistics of soybean seed inventory from USA GULF/Brazil to ADM’s EU crush assets and the trade execution of such shipments, which range from 20,000mt – 85,000mt in size.

Also responsible for organising the weekly soybean seed inventory movement from the Netherlands to Germany via inland waterways on barge freight as large bulk carrier vessels cannot reach this particular crush plant.

Skills needed:

You must be curious and willing to learn. Accept challenges when they come your way and be as adaptable as possible.

Be humble and understand that the people around you have a lot of knowledge to share. I never imagined after completing my BAgrSc in UCD that would I be involved in a global shipping supply chain that is tied in with EU animal nutrition which highlights the possibilities from this degree.

Graine Ahern

FDC Group


Having grown up on my family dairy farm in Dromcollogher, Co Limerick, farming and agriculture have always been part and parcel of life.

I gained a grá for animals from my father’s influence, and subsequently decided to study animal and crop production in UCD.

After graduating in 2021, I began studying for a Masters in Agricultural Extension and Innovation.

This is when I discovered my deep interest in rural development and economic and social sustainability within farming communities.

Job responsibilities

I was lucky enough to be awarded an FDC Group scholarship during my postgraduate studies, which gave me the opportunity to carry out research on farmer learning behaviours on behalf of the organisation.

FDC Group is a decentralised, multidisciplinary professional services provider. I work as part of the professional services team.

My main responsibilities revolve around enhancing our agricultural footprint, seeking research opportunities, and complementing the learning needs of those within FDC Group.

Skills needed

My position requires good communication skills, particularly the ability to listen to and understand people as I not only work with agricultural institutions, but financial services organisations and training providers.

Within this role it is also really important to take risks and avail of any opportunity that is presented to our team no matter how out-of-reach it may seem.

I have learned that it is important to treat every day as a school day. From my studies and my career so far, I have been extremely lucky to meet people from all walks of life from whom I try to learn something – on both a professional and personal level.

Eugene Ryan

Technical sales adviser, Grassland Agro


I come from a small beef farm outside Thurles, Co Tipperary. I always had a great interest in agriculture and studied Agricultural Science in South East Technological University (SETU), Waterford. For my third year co–op placement, I worked with Dairygold Co–op as part of its inside sales and advisory team.

After graduating from SETU in 2021, I started studying for my Master’s (part-time) in Agricultural Extension and Innovation at University College Dublin.

I also started working for Grassland Agro as a technical sales adviser in the Tipperary region. My education combined with the learning opportunities presented by Grassland Agro have been invaluable in developing my industry knowledge.

Job responsibilities

Grassland Agro is a manufacturer specialising in soil, plant, and animal nutrition/welfare. As a technical sales adviser, my role has lots of variety and involves visiting farmers, co–ops and merchants in my area.

We collaborate with co-ops and farmers on our soil sustainability programme and offer tailored farm specific advice to ensure the right product is being used in the right scenario. This is increasingly important given the current market and the need to reduce our usage of chemical nitrogen in the coming years. I take great pride in helping farmers navigate these changes.

Skills needed

Good communication skills are very important in my role as I’m meeting people daily with the view to developing relationships and strengthening existing ones. Strong organisational skills, flexibility, and a willingness to embrace every encounter as a learning experience about the agricultural industry are also invaluable.