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Over 3,000 Agricultural Science students take to the fields for hands on learning this Spring for Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk 2018

Pictured at the launch of Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk 2018 are front row (L- R): Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D; Carmel Finlay, Teagasc and Richard Moeran, Chairman, Agri Aware joined by Wesley College, Dublin 5th Year Agricultural Science students back row (L- R) Molly Walters, Dublin; Karl Jones, Wicklow; Idanesi Momoh, Kildare and Emily Cazzini, Dublin.

Over 3,000 Leaving Cert Agricultural Science students will close their textbooks and open their minds this Spring as they take to the fields for Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk series. Students from across urban and rural Ireland will visit Teagasc colleges and research centres nationwide, as well as UCD’s Lyons Research Farm and this year’s newest venue the Irish Farmers Journal Farm in County Offaly, to gain real-life experience on working farms and hear talks from leading agri-food industry experts.

From observing cows being milked, comparing different breeds of cattle, examining soil profiles, watching piglets suckle the students will experience the reality of the subject that they are taught each day in the classroom. Speaking at today’s launch (Monday 26th February) Agri Aware Chairman Richard Moeran said, “Agriculture is hands-on and events like Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk provide thousands of students with an insight into the practicalities of farming and the hard work that farmers do each day. For many it will be their first time on an operating farm and we believe it could play a role in enticing these students towards a career in agriculture sector.”

Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk series takes place from 6-15th of March with nine venues hosting students over eight days. This event includes presentations from lecturers as well as a variety of Agri Aware patrons who provide industry and curriculum linked talks. Representatives from ABP, Dawn Meats, Kepak, Truly Irish and Liffey Meats will provide educational talks and presentations on the meat industry, while representatives from Glanbia, Dairygold, Dairymaster, Lakeland Dairies, Aurivo, LacPatrick Co-op and Arrabawn will be on hand to provide information about the Irish dairy industry. Gouldings and Grassland Agro, both members of the Irish Fertiliser Manufactures Association (IFMA), will educate students on the fertiliser industry. Other patrons who will speak on their sectors include IFAC accountants, FBD Insurance and many more.

Deirdre O’Shea added, “Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk series is a key event in the Agricultural Science calendar and it’s great to see so many schools interested in Farm Walk and Talk. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain an insight into the hands-on experience of a working farm while also getting the opportunity to engage with key industry stakeholders. Agri Aware wouldn’t be able to facilitate these events without the help of Teagasc, UCD, IASTA and our patrons from the agri-food industry.”

“Speaking at the launch Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D said: “I am delighted to launch Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk series. The yearly event plays a key role in allowing second level Agricultural Science students to gain practical experience on working farms that many studying the subject may otherwise not experience. This is particularly beneficial for students who don’t come from a farming background. Many of the students studying Agricultural Science today will go on to become the leaders of tomorrow within the sector and I wish all students attending the event every success with their Agricultural Education.”