Pictured at The Ballyhaise Agricultural College Awards Presentation Night in The Hotel Kilmore, Marianne Lyons (Assistant Principal Ballyhaise Agricultural College), Minister Heather Humphreys TD Minister for Rural and Community Development and Social Protection, Gearoid Kennedy Overall Student of The Year Award Winner holding his Awards, Dr Anne-Marie Butler Head of Teagasc Education Programme and John Kelly Principal Ballyhaise Agricultural College.

Forestry student takes top award at Teagasc Ballyhaise

POPULAR Receptionist retires from College after 40 years of service

A Kilkenny forestry student was awarded the coveted title of Student of the Year 2021 at Ballyhaise College last week.

Gearóid Kennedy picked up the impressive piece of silverware along also received his Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Forestry. Gearóid Kennedy is from Cuilin Fearais, Gowran. Marianne Lyons, Assistant Principal of Teagasc Ballyhaise, congratulated Gearóid, acknowledging the great example that he has shown to all.

“He showed a strong academic performance. He contributed positively to the class and coupled this with a very successful practical work placement with his host. He clearly demonstrated that he was an exceptional student and worthy of the prize,” said Ms Lyons, who is also a forestry lecturer at the college.

Gearóid’s award was the culmination of the awards event, which was attended by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys and saw presentations of awards and certificates to over 80 Level 6 graduates of Teagasc Ballyhaise College.

The graduation took place on Thursday, October 27 and included graduates who studied from September 2021 to July 2022. Minister Humphreys outlined that in the last two years numbers of students completing certificates with Teagasc Ballyhaise have remained strong.

“Over 2,300 certificates have been received by graduates since the autumn of 2017 and this year we have a further 80 Level 6 certificates being received by graduates,” she said.

She added that the college has a long history of delivering education and with its partnership with Dundalk IT, students can progress to degree level.

The Minister also reminded those present about the importance of building sustainability into all aspects of our agricultural production and how important education is in ensuring this happens. She reminded those present on the importance of innovation and the adoption of digitisation and smart farming in their business in achieving our emission reduction targets.

The Minister welcomed the €3 million funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, (DAFM) for new student accommodation and updated those present on the night that the planning application has just be lodged with Cavan County Council for this development.

Principal of Teagasc Ballyhaise College, John Kelly pointed out that in the early years of the college, less than 40 students attended the college each year. This academic year, 255 students enrolled on first year courses with over 800 learners attending the various courses on offer in the college. He added that working with educational partners in the region was important for developing new education programmes and included CMETB and DkIT. Indeed a new part time degree was now on offer in DkIT and is delivered in conjunction with Teagasc Ballyhaise Agricultural College. Head of Education in Teagasc, Dr Anne-Marie Butler congratulated graduates and their families on their achievements and this important milestone in their agricultural education.

“I encourage you to continue your professional development, engage with Teagasc education and advisory services, and continue to build your network of support as it is a very powerful stepping stone for your personal and career development,” she said.