Gurteen College, a leading provider of Agricultural Education is centrally located just off the N52, 12km from Birr, Co Offaly, and 25km from Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Co-ordinates N53.04165 W008.01226. The college welcomes residential students (5 day or 7 day on request), for level 5 and 6 Agricultural Courses, also Business and Equine for which the Green Certificate is awarded. The college accommodation is made up 90 single occupancy bedrooms most newly refurbished in our main building with a few further twin rooms in the original Gurteen House. There are a number of apartment type dwellings in the courtyard area. Non-residential students are also welcome. Over 600 students currently attend Gurteen College annually during different periods.
Recreational facilities at the college are excellent and include an outdoor heated swimming pool, games pitches, floodlit tennis and basketball courts. There is a large indoor sports hall which can accommodate badminton, indoor soccer and table tennis. There is ample computer rooms as well as WIFI. In the student lounges there are vending machines, pool tables, Multichannel TV’s, DVD players etc.
The college farm is large with over 380 hectares. There are 40 hectares in tillage crops including winter and spring barley and fodder beet. The college grows 33 hectares of willow which is used as biomass to heat the college. There is a very wide range of machinery and the college undertakes most of the machinery work with very little work done by contractors.
There are 175 Pedigree Holstein Frisian cows producing 1,225,000 litres of milk, by spring 2018 the college will be milking 240 cows through a 30 unit
herringbone parlour. The cows are bred by 6 weeks of AI followed by 3 weeks with the Limousin bull, followed by 3 weeks with the Aberdeen Angus bull. All dairy replacements are reared by the college.
There are 70 suckler cows (50% calving in the spring and 50% calving in the autumn) supplying Charolais cross calves to a 200 head beef unit. Various finishing systems including bull beef are demonstrated to the students.
The college has 650 Suffolk cross ewes which are mostly lambed mid-season. These are mated to Suffolk, Texel and Charollais rams.
Equine facilities include 45 stables, indoor and outdoor arenas, fully stocked tack room and other storage areas, horse wash bay, a horse walker and a cross country course. The horses and equine facilities are used as a teaching resource for both the Higher Certificate in Business in Equine and the Bachelor of Business in Equine courses, these are run in conjunction with Athlone IT. There is a separate stable yard with tack room which allows students to keep their own horses on site on DIY livery.