Details of the six agricultural science students who have been rewarded with professional work experience (PWE) travel bursaries have been revealed.

The University College Dublin (UCD) students are Aaron Kealy (Meath), Laura Maloney (Offaly), Edel Cashman ( Cork), and Mark Shorten (Cork). From Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Sinéad Conway (Mayo) and and Seán Doyle (Laois) have received the award.

The bursaries, supported by the Agricultural Science Association (ASA) and the Irish Farmers Journal, encourage students to expand their knowledge of the global agri-food sector by gaining practical experience while travelling overseas.

Third-level agricultural science students from UCD and WIT will be supported while on work placements in New Zealand, Chile, and Europe this year.


2020 will mark the fifth year of this joint initiative from the ASA and Irish Farmers Journal, whereby students who express an interest in fulfilling the work placement module of their degree overseas are rewarded with the bursary. The WIT bursaries are also supported by Glanbia and Arvum.

“The Agricultural Science Association endeavours to enhance and support our students through professional development opportunities to ensure Ireland’s position as a global leader is maintained, all the while strengthening the future of our agri-food industry,” said ASA president Seamus O’Mahony.

Irish Farmers Journal careers and property editor Odile Evans said: “Undoubtedly, this is an excellent opportunity for third-level students to gain practical experience in the agriculture industry overseas and to build on their existing knowledge of the Irish landscape which will benefit their career development and ultimately provide students with a unique perspective. We will be sharing individual stories from each student over the coming months.”

From University College Dublin:

  • Aaron Kealy from Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, is a third-year animal science student. He will travel from July to December and spend time on farms across Bradenburg in Germany and Aberdeenshire in Scotland.
  • Laura Maloney from Birr, Co Offaly, is a third-year animal and crop production student. She will travel to Wales in February before moving on to Denmark in April and will work across dairy and sheep, assisting with calving and lambing duties along with general farm maintenance and duties.
  • Edel Cashman from Carrigtwohill, Co Cork, is a third-year animal and crop production student. She will travel to Canterbury, New Zealand, in January, where she will spend 16 weeks on a dairy farm and will be working on grass and fodder management for the winter period, along with animal health and body conditioning.
  • Mark Shorten from Bandon, Co Cork, is a third-year dairy business student. He will travel to New Zealand in July, where he will spend five months on a dairy farm and learn about large-scale dairying and grass management.
  • From Waterford Institute of Technology:

  • Sinead Conway from Westport, Co Mayo, is a third-year agricultural science student. She will travel to North Island in New Zealand and will work across two family-run dairy farms outside Whangarei. Sinead will gain practical experience of large-scale dairying at these mixed breed farms. This award is also supported by Glanbia.
  • Sean Doyle from Portlaoise, Co Laois, is a third-year agricultural science student. He will travel to Dorie in South Island, New Zealand, in January, where he will gain varied experience in the cultivation and harvesting of 4,000 acres of vegetables, root crops and cereals, along with assisting in daily operations on the 800-cow dairy farm. This award is also supported by Arvum.
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