Willowbrook nurturing young agri food talent

Wendy Sterritt, from the Willowbrook Food Innovation Centre, pictured with Bursary Award winner and second year Food Technology student Nicola Hempill, from Omagh
Wendy Sterritt, from the Willowbrook Food Innovation Centre, pictured with Bursary Award winner and second year Food Technology student Nicola Hempill, from Omagh

At the recent Food Bursary Awards at Loughry College, Ireland’s largest bagged salad producer Willowbrook Foods was delighted to award student Nicola Hemphill from Omagh the highly coveted Willowbrook Foods Bursary.

The Willowbrook Bursary, first awarded in 2015, is evidence of Willowbrook’s continued support for young talent in the agri food sector, providing the winning student with a cash sponsorship towards their studies.

Each campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) receives bursaries from companies trading in their specialism and students compete against each other to win a bursary award through an interview process or by submitting a topical report.

Willowbrook will also now offer Nicola, who is studying a BSc Honours Degree in Food Technology, a placement in their Food Innovation Centre to help ensure the pool of young talent seeking careers in the food manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland continues to grow. As well as this, Willowbrook will donate a cash award to the student who attains the highest mark in the food technology degree.

Managing Director of Willowbrook John McCann MBE said: “We are delighted to support the Bursary programme at CAFRE’s Loughry campus as we are committed to the future development of the agri food industry though investing in its brightest young stars. It is so encouraging to see so many talented young people coming up through the ranks, I have no doubt there are future industry leaders amongst the winners, including Nicola.

“We were particularly impressed with Nicola’s understanding of food production and were delighted she chose to base her report on Willowbrook Foods.

“Higher education can be expensive for many students and their families and we are proud to support Nicola on her career path not only with the bursary, but by offering her a placement in our Food Innovation Centre to enhance her academic studies with practical experience in the workplace,” Mr McCann said.