The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) recently held a Science Demonstration Day for schools at its Hillsborough research farm.
Pupils from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland obtained a fascinating insight into the latest scientific advances in livestock production.
The demonstrations spanned the current research programmes in beef, dairy, pig and sheep production, as well as research on animal welfare and the environmental impacts of livestock production.
For example, the current challenges within pig production systems were highlighted and pupils viewed research in progress which aims to increase sow productivity and improve the welfare of pigs born into large litters. Pupils also had the opportunity to meet the scientists who are leading these research programmes and took the opportunity to ask questions about all aspects of the work, as well as experiencing life in the day of a research scientist.
AFBI Chair, Mr Colm McKenna, commented on the visit by saying: “I am delighted that approximately 150 GCSE and A level students from Omagh, Bangor, Dromore, Belfast, Lisburn and Derrylin had the opportunity to meet AFBI scientists and find out about agri-food research taking place right here in Northern Ireland. Hopefully this first-hand experience will inspire them to a future career in science. ”