Skip navigation Access keys documentation page Search Agriculture Research Food Research

Clare Farmer is Teagasc Student of the Year 2008

20 March 2009

Declan Donnelly is the 2008 Teagasc Student of the Year. The awards, sponsored by FBD Trust Ltd, were presented by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith in Dublin today, Thursday 19 April.

The top Teagasc student, from Lissycasey, County Clare, completed the Advanced Certificate in Agriculture course at Teagasc Ennis centre. Declan works with his father on the home farm producing pedigree Hereford, Charolais and Aberdeen Angus cattle. He is involved with a number of breed societies and also works part-time with a local agricultural contractor. Receiving his award Declan said: “I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the course and am delighted to be awarded top student.”

Speaking at the presentation of the awards, Teagasc Director Professor Gerry Boyle said: “I wish to congratulate all the students here today on the successful completion of their courses and on attaining such high standards. Teagasc is committed to a radical overhaul of its education system. This will involve the establishment of two National Agricultural Colleges which will have both the scale and the resources to lead in the provision of the best possible range of courses for young people entering farming. These will be supported by 11 Regional Education Centres which will deliver a range of programmes to full-time and part-time farmers and continuing training courses for adult farmers. The mix of students here today from both college and local part-time programmes is proof positive that quality education and training can be delivered through either route. “

Killian O’Donovan completed the Advanced Certificate in Dairy Herd Management at Clonakilty college and was presented with the first runner-up award. Killian and his dad farm a dairy herd and followers. His hope for the future is to build the herd to 200 in partnership with a neighbour.

The second runner-up award went to Dermot Foley. Dermot, from the Roscommon side of Carrick-on-Shannon runs a suckler herd and fattens bulls. He completed the Advanced Certificate in Agriculture at Teagasc Sligo centre.

The awards ceremony also included finalists: Willie Carroll, Tipperary; Liam Lenihan, Limerick; Daniel Rundle, Louth; John McGillycuddy, Kerry; Philip Parke, Sligo and Brendan Kelly, Mayo.

Willie Carroll from Cahir represented Kildalton college. Together with his father he runs a dairy and beef enterprise.

Liam Lenihan from Adare completed the Advanced Certificate in Agriculture and represented Pallaskenry college. Liam has also undertaken a degree in business in NUIG.

Daniel Rundle is 19 years of age and hails from Drogheda. Daniel represented Ballyhaise college and farms a spring-calving herd with his uncle. Daniel is from a non-farming background but has had a lifetime interest in farming.

John McGillycuddy is from Killorglin and completed the Advanced Certificate in Agriculture with Teagasc in Killarney. John and his dad farm a dairy and beef enterprise. He also provides relief milking, freeze branding and hoof paring services to local farmers and has just completed a DIY AI course which he now adding to the list.

Philip Parke, from Ballisodare, County Sligo represented Gurteen college. Together with his dad they run a dairy enterprise with followers. They also provide a contracting business which includes silage cutting, baling and slurry spreading.

Brendan Kelly, a part-time farmer from Westport, represented Mountbellew college. He runs a hill sheep farm in his own right and also works on his dad’s farm of suckler cows and ewes. Brendan’s wish for the future is to farm on a full-time basis.

The awards are now in their 24th year and have been sponsored since inception by FBD Trust Ltd. Paddy Browne, Teagasc Acting Director of Education speaking at the awards said: “We are delighted with the continued support of FBD Trust to our awards. This is a strong indication of their commitment to agricultural education and to the agricultural sector. In a future without quotas, we need the best and brightest people to become involved in farming and competitions such as this provide the impetus for young farmers to get involved in the development of their enterprises and reach the highest standards.”

For more contact: Paddy Browne, Teagasc Acting Director of Education at 087 2422715.