Agricultural Colleges Challenges Day
The annual Agricultural Colleges Challenges Day is set to be held on 14th February in Kildalton Agricultural College in County Kilkenny. The challenges are based around leadership and teamwork and bring students together from six agricultural colleges:
- Salesian Agricultural College Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick
- Clonakilty Aggricultural College Co. Cork
- Gurteen Agricultural College, Co. Tipperary
- Kildalton Agricultural College, Co Kilkenny
- Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Co Cavan
- Mountbellew Agricultural College, Co. Galway
Twelve students from each college will participate in various competitions such as Tug of War, Simulator challenge, Stockjudging, Fencing and Tractor Driving, to name a few.
The Farm Business and Technology Award sponsored by National Broadband Ireland, will return for a third year in a row. Niall Beirne, Head of Strategic Partnerships at NBI commented, “NBI is delighted to sponsor the Farm Business & Technology Award for the third year in a row. This year the students have been tasked with demonstrating how fibre broadband is benefiting their business, whether that is from an economical, safety or environmental point of view. From previous years, we know that the standard will be really high, so we’re especially keen to see the submissions and understand how the work we are doing at NBI, will enable the sustainable development of farms, businesses, as well as wider rural communities.”
In 2023, a team of three students from Clonakilty took the prize of first place in the Farm Business and Technology Award (pictured above) and Mountbellew Agricultural College were the overall winners on the day.
The FRS Memorial Scholarship will return this year. One student from each college will have the opportunity to present on ‘Leadership in Sustainability’. The winner will receive a scholarship of three months placement in an FRS office. Colette McInerney, Head of Operations, FRS Farm Relief, said; “It is a privilege for FRS to be part of the challenge day and award a student with the FRS Memorial Scholarship which plays tribute to our past colleagues and friends of FRS. Our most recent recipient, Wayne Smyth, took up his scholarship award placement sharing his time across our Limerick, Tipperary, and Cavan offices. He has contributed and achieved so much in his work and stayed on with us past the normal three months placement. We are looking forward to the presentations of this year’s student cohort as they are always of such high standard and to awarding another work placement to help that student on their career path.”
Outgoing FRS Memorial Scholarship winner, Wayne Smyth, said; “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that’s helped me though my scholarship. I have gained so much knowledge throughout my time with the FRS. I have seen so much on farms and off farms. My skills have really got so much better with all the knowledge I have received. FRS is a great company, and it has loads of options - you can see all the insides to farmers getting help and support. I would recommend working at the FRS as they are a great team of people, and everyone supports each other to get the best out of each other. Everyone at the FRS has helped me so much and I really appreciate all the work and help I have got along the way.”
Anne-Marie Butler, Head of Education, Teagasc, commented; “Challenge Day is a highlight of the academic year for all our learners and colleges. Teagasc is delighted to work with all our partners and welcome their valued input. It’s great to see college teams working together, applying their knowledge and skills across a number of challenges and most importantly having fun. Congratulations to all participants and their mentors and continued success in their courses with Teagasc.”
Macra are delighted to be associated with the annual Challenges Day. Elaine Houlihan, Macra President, said; “Macra are looking forward to an exceptional day in Kildalton Ag College and we would like to wish all the students the very best of luck on the day.”