Mountbellew Agricultural College
The College is situated in Mountbellew town, which is about 50km north east of Galway City, midway between Tuam and Ballinasloe and 30km from Roscommon.
The College in Mountbellew is owned and managed by the Franciscan Brothers. The programmes offered at the College have the maintenance and enhancement of the environment, countryside and rural communities as their major priorities. The college is a private college but joins with Teagasc, GMIT, QQI and SOLAS in delivering courses.
The Brothers came to Mountbellew, Co Galway in 1818. They taught a free primary school in Mountbellew until 1884 and in 1875 they opened a secondary boarding school. Later the Brothers changed from Secondary education to Agricultural Education and in 1904 opened the first Agricultural College in Ireland.
The college has excellent teaching and recreational facilities. Besides having well-equipped and modern classrooms there is a library and computer rooms. The lounge and TV rooms have pool tables and other games. The gymnasium is used for indoor games and there is a pitch for football and hurling.
A language resource facility on campus plays an important role in facilitating students to learn a second language. German and French have proved most popular to date.
The college organises numerous events for students throughout the academic year, both on and off campus. Staff encourage students to take a keen interest in sport, in particular gaelic football and hurling.
The college and its students have received many awards down through the years. Numerous acknowledgements have been received by the college for the quality of its agricultural output and farm husbandry techniques from professional organisations, at both local and national level.
There is sleeping accommodation for 60 students in the college and additional accommodation for more than sixty students is available within a short walking distance of the college.
The College Farm
The farm consists of 200 ha of land and has a number of enterprises run as farmlets on a commercial basis.
The enterprises include a 90 cow dairy herd, a 50 cow suckler herd, a 50 unit calf to beef enterprise and a 60 unit store to beef enterprise. There is a sheep flock of 500 ewes with early and mid-season lambing and a 1200 store lamb enterprise. The cereal enterprise consists of 30 hectacres of oats and barley. Alternative enterprises of deer, organic farming, forestry and Irish Draft horses have been established.