Christmas certainly arrived early when students from CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus received substantial bursaries from major agri–food and horticultural organisations.
This year’s bursaries, totalling £21,000, have been generously provided by AI Services Ltd, Bank of Ireland, Bulrush Horticulture Ltd, Calor Ltd, Cogent, Danske Bank, the Darren Clarke Golf School, Genus ABS, Dunbia, Gibson Trust, HSBC, Irish Farmers’ Journal, John Thompson and Sons Ltd, Moy Park Ltd, Tyrone Farming Society, Ulster Farmers’ Union and the Ulster Grassland Society.
As expected, there was a lot of competition for these £1,000 bursaries. Applications were open to students commencing study in 2015 on the BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Technology, the Foundation Degree in Agriculture & Rural Studies and the Foundation Degree in Horticulture courses.
Speaking at the awards presentation ceremony, Mr Noel Lavery, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, thanked the industry representatives for their generosity and willingness to support young people entering higher education within the sector. He told the large gathering of sponsors, parents and students: “Bursary donation, particularly in the current difficult economic climate, is a tangible investment in the leaders and managers of the future.”
In response, the bursary sponsors praised the high quality of the students’ work and congratulated them on their efforts. Mr Ervin McKinstry, Genus ABS, commented: “Young people are the life blood of our agri–food industry. This bursary scheme is a way in which businesses can make a small but important contribution to ensuring the continued supply of professional managers to the industry. We are delighted to be able to help them and wish them every success in their programmes.”
Anna Truesdale, a student on the BSc Agricultural Technology programme and recipient of a bursary from the Irish Farmers’ Journal, thanked the sponsors for their support. “We are very grateful to the companies for giving us this fantastic start at Greenmount. It is most encouraging that industry is willing to invest in young people embarking on a career in the land–based sector,” she added.