The Irish Hereford Breed Society, in collaboration with Slaney Foods International & LIDL Ireland have awarded 6 bursaries of €1,000 each to 6 successful candidates at the 86th National Ploughing Championships which took place in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly today.
The programme, which was launched earlier in the spring, created wide interest from prospective and aspiring agricultural students wishing to go to Agricultural College or study Agriculture at 3rd level in the Republic of Ireland this year.
Participants had to submit an assignment entitled: Ireland’s Green Grass – Our Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow (maximum 2,000 words). A team of adjudicators selected ten qualifiers to attend for interview at the Irish Hereford Breed Society Stand during this year’s National Ploughing Championships. These interviews and the selection of the final 6 winners was carried out by Dr Stephen Conroy, Manager of the Progeny Test Centre, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).
Andrew Doyle, Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, announced the six winners:
1. Catherine Smyth – Navan, Co. Meath
2. Lesley Lewis – Birr, Co. Offaly
3. Lorraine Delaney – Cullohill, Co. Laois
4. Noel Bardon – Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
5. Andrew Hanbidge – Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow
6. John Mahon – Birr, Co. Offaly
“Together with our partners we are very pleased with the response to the competition and with the efforts of the young aspiring agricultural enthusiasts who participated. We wish the six winners and the four runners up all of whom reached a very high standard every success in their chosen career path.” commented Larry Feeney – IHBS Secretary.
The challenges arising for agriculture into the future will require increased education particularly in Agricultural Science. The environmental challenges facing the industry are many and varied depending on where in the world food is produced and where the world’s population is concentrated. We are confident that this competition has succeeded in highlighting the great need for further education in agriculture to meet the needs of a growing population.
Left – Right: Maeve McCleane – Lidl Ireland Director of Human Resources, Dr Stephen Conroy – Manager of the Progeny Test Centre (ICBF), Andrew Doyle – Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Winners: Lorraine Delaney, Andrew Hanbidge, Catherine Smyth, Lesley Lewis, John Mahon & Noel Bardon, Rory Fanning – Slaney Foods Managing Director & Pat McCarthy – IHBS President.
The 10 finalists of the competition from Left – Right: Andrew Hanbidge, Tadhg Fogarty, Lesley Lewis, Andrew Mansfield, Lorraine Delaney, John Mahon, Catherine Smyth, Padraig Blake, Rosemary Brennan and Noel Bardon.