Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) were delighted to recently host an Agricultural Sustainability workshop in conjunction with key stakeholders from the Institute and agricultural industry. This extremely informative event was facilitated by DkIT’s Dr Breda Brennan in collaboration with John Kelly, Principal of Teagasc Ballyhaise College. The purpose of the workshop was to inform and plan for the upcoming revision of the Institute’s Agriculture programmes to ensure that the theme of sustainability is up to date and strongly integrated.
Speakers on the day included Gary Lanigan, Research Officer, Teagasc Crops, Environment and Land-Use Programme, who gave a compelling and informative presentation on the abatement of greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from agriculture and land-use. Following this presentation, Rory Farrell and Niall McLoughlin provided an overview of the Lakeland Dairies’ strategic approach to sustainability and climate action. Noel McKenna from DkIT’s School of Engineering provided some thoughts on how climate change action is being approached in the building sector.
The second part of this extremely productive event consisted of all attendees breaking into small groups to workshop how to embed sustainable agriculture into students’ education. Staff from DkIT and Ballyhaise College were joined by the speakers and external colleagues from Louth County Council and the NE Bioeconomy Cluster. All three pillars of sustainability (social, economic and environmental) were discussed across a number of thematic areas such as sustainable production, land-use, natural resources, energy and sustainable development.
Dr Breda Brennan, Head of Department of Agriculture, Food and Animal Health Said:
The workshop was a great success with the speakers setting the scene perfectly for the important workshop element, the purpose of which was to identify areas which will influence the programme into the future and ensure that graduates are attributed with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle the current and future challenges for this industry.