Travel bursary will go a long way to help WIT students with farm work placementsWIT

 

The winners of two Agricultural Science Association (ASA)/ Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) travel bursaries have been announced.

The winner of the ASA/WIT Travel bursary in association with Irish Farmers Journal and Arvum Group was third year BSc (Hons) Agricultural Science student Roisin Horan from Drangan, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

The winner of the ASA/WIT Travel bursary in association with Irish Farmers Journal and Glanbia was second year BSc in Agriculture student Peter McGuinness from Boardsmill, Trim, Co. Meath.

Both Roisin and Peter have plans to travel to New Zealand to do farm work placements. Dr Siobhán Walsh, work placement co-ordinator, and lecturer at WIT said: “Thanks to our sponsors, we are delighted to be able to offer students travel bursaries again this year. The standard of applications was extremely high and I would like to congratulate Peter and Roisin on winning the bursaries. A number of students will start their placements in New Zealand and Australia in early January for 15 weeks and I wish them all the best.”

John O’Connor, Teagasc Kildalton, is involved in organising work placements for all WIT ag and ag science students, said: “This a great opportunity for our students to gain farm placement abroad. They get to see different farming systems and practices and it really enhances their understanding of agriculture at an international level.”

One of the sponsors of the travel bursary for second year BSc in Agriculture students is Glanbia. John Kealy, Glanbia Agribusiness comments on the benefits of work placement: “Working abroad for any period of time, is an investment every Agriculture student should make in themselves. You’re never too young to experience new ways of doing things and to experience this in some of the world’s leading dairy production facilities in New Zealand is an opportunity too good to miss. WIT and ASA are doing fantastic work in this regard and Glanbia are glad to be able to support this unique initiative in our own small way. Really well done to all the students for taking the time and effort to prepare and apply for the very competitive process. Hopefully this experience will help them in finding the right opportunities for themselves in the near future as the venture out to work in this great industry, Irish Agriculture. Best of luck to all.”

One of the sponsors of the travel bursary for third year BSc (Hons) Agricultural Science students is Arvum. Denise Stuart, Arvum said: “It was a pleasure and privilege to meet the students embarking on their work experience to Australia and New Zealand. We at Arvum Group are delighted to continue our support of the travel bursary. For the students it’s a wonderful adventure and a great opportunity.  We would like to commend WIT on the continued success and development of their Agriculture and Ag. Science programmes.  It was wonderful to see such genuine passion and commitment to farming from the students. We are in no doubt that their experience down under will enhance their skills and knowledge which leaves us assured that the future of agriculture in Ireland is in safe hands. We wish all of students the very best of luck.”

Student Peter McGuinness departs on New Year’s Eve to start work on 3 January with a 1,000 cow dairy herd on a farm beside the town Methven in the province of Canterbury in the South Island of New Zealand. He said: “I am very honoured to be chosen for this excellent award that was made available to my classmates and I at WIT who are travelling overseas to complete the farm placement module. It has most definitely made taking the trip to the other side of the world a lot easier! I’d like to thank Glanbia and the Irish Farmers Journal for the sponsorship of this award.”

Bursary recipient Roisin Horan describes how she will benefit from the award: “This achievement is giving me the opportunity to travel to New Zealand to complete my work experience placement. While there, I am eager to experience and appreciate the hard work and management involved in efficiently operating at the large scale New Zealand is renowned for.”