BY JOHN SEXTON
THIS is a significant event in your life stated Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc, when he gave the keynote address at the recent presentation of certificates to graduates of Clonakilty Agricultural College, Darrara, at a special function in Fernhill Hotel.
He said that agricultural education gives you the experience and the confidence to run your farm like a small business. He appealed to the students to acknowledge the efforts of their parents, who have made many sacrifices to get them this far on the road to a good and sound education.
‘You are here in one of the leading colleges in the country, attached to a highly productive farm, where grass production and dairy herd management go side by side.’ Prof Boyle complimented college principal Majella Moloney and her staff for turning out such a fine group of gradulates.
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, who presented the certificates, having complimented the management and staff of the college, congratulated the students on their ambition for learning, stating that education was the most valuable asset in life. He went on to speak about the merits of share-farming, stating that it could work out well on a father and son basis, especially on the transfer of the farm
Principal Majella Moloney, in welcoming all present, extended congratulations to all the gratuates (all 264 of them) from the staff of the college: ‘The award you are receiving this evening is recognition of your effort and application in successfully completing your training. Today is a proud day for parents and families who have given you encouragement and made sacrifices, for you over the past year, to make this day possible.
‘We hope your time in Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College has moulded a spirit of competitiveness, enterprise and innovation. These qualities will help you to adapt and to manage the changes imposed on you, such as the demand for increasing quality standards, environmental awareness and rationalisation of the market place.
‘While congratulating today’s graduates and their families on the achievement of these awards, I would like to remind you that, Teagasc aspires to work with you in a lifelong journey of learning and developing.
‘I encourage you to work with your local Teagasc adviser and get involved with local Teagasc programmes to help you meet the challenges of the future,’ concluded Ms Moloney.
Awards – The QQI Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture ‘Student of the Year’ was named as Shane McCarthy; QQI Level 6 Specific Purpose Award in Farm Administration Student of the Year, Luke McCarthy; QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in AgricultureDairy Herd Management Student of the Year, Niall G O’Sullivan.
Student Practical Learning Period, sponsored by Southern Milling, Ciaran Crowley, Diane Murphy and Shauna O’Mahony; Farm Plan of the Year Award, sponsored by AIB, Brendan Keohane; ACDHM Grass Award sponsored by Peter & Paula Hynes and True North Technologies, Niall G O’Sullivan and Ian Fox; ACDHM Milking Award. sponsored by Clonakilty Agricultural College, Conor O’Connor, Jerome Ring, Ian Fox and Ryan Tarrant.