Over 440 secondary school students flocked to the Irish Farmers Journal demonstration farm Tullamore Farm on Thursday to learn about farming and the agricultural industry.

The event was the last in a series of Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk events. The series demonstrates the practical elements of modern agriculture to second-level students preparing for their Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science exam.

The aim is for students to gain real-life experiences on working farms and hear from agri-food industry experts and leading academics in a practical environment.

From observing cows being milked, comparing different breeds of cattle, examining soil profiles, lamb births, to watching piglets suckle and farm safety demonstrations the students get to experience the realities of the subjects that they are taught each day in the classroom.

At Tullamore Farm, the students met and spoke to the Irish Farmers Journal specialists in beef and lamb production, farm buildings and the agricultural industry. They were given an in-depth look at the tillage industry, farm machinery and safety, as well as farm sustainability and climate targets.

Watch back some of the highlights of the day and the educational experience here:

Huge demand

Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe told the Irish Farmers Journal: “Over 3,700 students took part in the Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk series, which was a big increase in previous years, and in truth we could have had several hundred more, even a thousand more, if we had capacity in the colleges and the farms to take them. There was huge demand.”

The series is an integral part of the Agricultural Science syllabus, and it is important for a lot of students to actually get on to farms and see what they are learning that the classroom, Jagoe added.

“Seeing is believing,” he said, “And it’s important for us in Agri Aware to showcase the technologies, the efficiencies and the policy changes that farmers are embracing over the last number of years and will be taking on in the next couple of years.

“And following on from that, also to show students the career opportunities that are there for those young people who want to pursue a career in agriculture.”