Teagasc Ballyhaise Students Graduate
Awards and certificates were presented to over 300 Level 6 graduates of Teagasc Ballyhaise College, County Cavan, by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD on Thursday, 24 March. This event has graduates over two years from 2020 and 2021 due to the event been postponed on a number of occasions due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Numbers graduating from Teagasc colleges and Regional Education centres are exceptionally high, with overall certificates being issued surpassing 4,903 in 2020 and 5,571 in 2021.
Director of Teagasc Knowledge Transfer, Dr Stan Lalor outlined that in the last two years numbers of students completing certificates with Teagasc Ballyhaise have remained steady where students completed their programmes on schedule despite the challenges the Covid-19 presented. He said; “Over 2,000 certificates have been received by graduates since the autumn of 2017 and this year we have a further 300 Level 6 certificates being received by graduates. He added that the college has a long history of delivering education and with its partnership with Dundalk IT, students can progress to degree level. He also reminded those present about the importance of building sustainability into all aspects of our agricultural production and how important education is in ensuring this happens. Dr Lalor finished by congratulating and thanking both college staff and students for their commitment throughout the challenges of the last number of years.
Principal of Teagasc Ballyhaise College, John Kelly pointed out that in the early years of the college, less than 40 students attended the college each year. This academic year, 352 students enrolled on first year courses with over 800 learners attending the various courses on offer in the college.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD congratulated all the students graduating. He said; “You can be very proud of your achievement. The education you have received during your time at college will stay with you through your careers in farming. This is just the first step on your journey and the opportunities for lifelong learning are greater now than ever. Despite the challenges facing our great sector at present, it is a hugely exciting industry with boundless possibilities for progression. Both and I and the Government continue to back agricultural education. I recently had the pleasure of announcing an investment of €3 million for new student accommodation in Ballyhaise which will provide important infrastructure for the next generation of students following in your footsteps.”
There has been continued high numbers of students completing the one year Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture. More students than even completed the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture with the first graduates tonight of the Drystock and Mechanisation option at this level. Students receiving Certificates for part-time courses have increased significantly in the last 8 years. More than half the level 6 graduates that received certificates were either, from the Part-time evening course, or the Distance Education Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate in Farming (Green Cert).
Overall student of the year from 2020 went to Robert O’Mara from Castlepollard, County Westmeath, who also received his Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Dairy Herd Management on the night.
Overall student of year from 2021 went to Seanog McCormack from Kiltale, Dunsany, County Meath who also received his Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Drystock Management.
Marianne Lyons, Assistant Principal of Teagasc Ballyhaise, congratulated Robert and Seanog acknowledging the great example that they have shown to all. She said; “Both of these students showed strong academic performance. They also contributed positively to their class, coupled with a very positive practical work placement on their host farm. They have both clearly demonstrated that they were exceptional students and worthy of the prize.”