Pictured at the launch of Agri Aware Farm Walk 2020 are 5th year Wesley College Students, Sophie Doyle Smyth, Christopher Bailey, Rachel Patterson, Avalily l’Estrange, Ethan O’Connor and Sophie Tanner Wall with Katriona Kinsella of The Farmers Journal, Liam Herlihy Chairman of Teagasc, Alan Jagoe Chairman of Agri Aware, Marcus O’Halloran Executive Director of Agri Aware and Dr Bridget Lynch UCD School of Agriculture. Picture: Patrick Browne
Over 3,000 Agricultural Science secondary school students will swap their school books for welly boots this March to take part in Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk 2020 series.
The event series which takes places from March 2 to 13 will focus on the sustainability of Irish agriculture and will allow students gain a practical insight into Irish farming through a range of hands on visits to Teagasc farms, UCD Lyons Farm and the Irish Farmer’s Journal Farm.
As improving sustainability in Irish agriculture is the key theme of the 2021 Agricultural Science project and central to the new syllabus, Teagasc experts and key patrons will be on hand to inform students of the activities Irish farmers are undertaking in order to reduce their carbon footprint and make their farms more environmentally and economically sustainable.
From examining soil profiles and viewing new technologies to watching cows being milked and comparing different breeds of sheep, the Farm Walk and Talk series is an unmissable experience for Leaving Cert Agricultural Science students who want to experience real life on a farm.
The fun and educational events include presentations from Teagasc lecturers as well as a variety of Agri Aware patrons who provide industry and curriculum linked talks. Dairygold, Glanbia, Aurivo, Arrabawn and Lakeland Dairies will give informative talks on the Irish dairy industry, while Slaney Meats, ABP, Dawn Meats, Kepak and Truly Irish will be on hand to educate students about the Irish meat sector.
Speaking at the launch of the Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk 2020 series in UCD Lyons Farm today, Agri Aware Executive Director Marcus O’Halloran said:
“As sustainability is a key component of the new Agricultural Science syllabus we felt it was only right to make it a focus of Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk 2020 which has become a major event highlight of the Agricultural Science calendar over the last number of years.
“The events are a brilliant opportunity for students to engage with industry experts and Agri Aware wouldn’t be able to facilitate them without the help of Teagasc, UCD, IASTA and our patrons from the agri-food industry.”
Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe added: “We are delighted to host over 3,000 students at these events nationwide which we believe are key to giving young people an accurate insight in to farming and enticing them to consider a career in the diverse Irish agri food sector.
“For many students this will be their first time ever stepping foot on a working farm which will help in increasing awareness of sustainable food production and bridging the gap between young consumers and producers.”
While Teagasc chair Liam Herlihy stated that Teagasc colleges and research centres are delighted to once again host students as part of the Farm Walk and Talk series.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the sustainability of Irish farming and to highlight the actions being taken on farms to protect our water, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and to encourage biodiversity.”