Teagasc Ballyhaise Students Graduate
Awards and certificates were presented to over 600 graduates of Teagasc Ballyhaise College, Co Cavan, by Director of Teagasc, Professor Gerry Boyle and CEO of LacPatrick Dairies, Gabriel D’Arcy. This is the final of a number of such events across the Teagasc Agricultural colleges to take place this autumn.
Numbers graduating from Teagasc colleges and Regional Education centres are exceptionally high, with overall certificates being issued surpassing 5,000 in 2017.
Director of Teagasc, Professor Boyle outlined that in the last four years numbers of students completing certificates with Teagasc Ballyhaise have increased year on year. He said: “Over 1200 certificates have been received by graduates since the autumn of 2013 and this year we have a further 710 certificates being received by graduates. The college has a long history, running since 1906 and indeed many of our student’s parents, grandparents and great grandparents were former students here in the college. Teagasc are committed to improving facilities in the college with a continuation of investment in Ballyhaise house. The roof has been completed and a new biomass heating system has been installed during 2017”.
Ballyhaise College Principal, John Kelly pointed out that in the early years of the college less than 40 students attended the college each year. This academic year 348 students enrolled on first year courses with now over 1,000 learners attending the various courses on offer in the college.
CEO of LacPatrick, Gabriel D’Arcy outlined the importance of agriculture to the region. He said: “Ireland has a long history of food production and its climate and in particular our rainfall, will ensure that agriculture will continue to be a vibrant part of the rural economy”. He told the graduates that education was the first step in becoming successful farmers and he encouraged families of the graduates to allow them to be part of the decision making on farms and to embrace their ideas in the home business. Gabriel also reminded everyone present that despite the economic uncertainties at present that a growing world population will need to be fed and that our region will always have a significant role in providing food.
There has been continued high numbers of students completing the one year Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture as well as the second year Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate in Farm Administration. Forestry continues to be popular with many students receiving either a Level 5 or Level 6 Certificate in Forestry. Students receiving Certificates for part-time courses have increased significantly in the last 3 years. Half the graduates that received certificates were either, from the Part-time evening course, or the Distance Education Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate in Farm Administration (Green Cert), a record for the college.
Overall student of the year went to Philip Meehan, Dundalk, Co Louth, who also received his Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Dairy Herd Management on the night. Philip came back to Ballyhaise as a part-time night student, progressed onto the dairy course and has now progressed again into DkIT were he is currently completing an honours degree in agricultural. Oliver Tierney, Ballyhaise Assistant Principal congratulated Philip acknowledging the great example that he has shown to all, of how you can come back to education by night and progress all the way to having a degree.