Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk series returns

Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk series returns

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe with Wesley College Dublin students Thea Jones, Emma Grady, Hugh Butler, and Jake Cullen during the Farm Walk and Talk launch in UCD Lyons Estate. 

Agri Aware's Farm Walk and Talk series for agricultural science students is back for 2023.

Almost 4,000 students are expected to attend the events this year, with extended dates offered to meet demand.

The Farm Walk and Talk days, which over the years have allowed students to observe milking, cattle grading, grass measuring, and even participating in the live lambing of sheep, were launched by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue on Thursday at UCD Lyons Farm in Co Kildare.

The launch was followed by a roundtable advocacy meeting, which allowed the key partners of the events including the Irish Agricultural Science Teachers' Association (IASTA) and Teagasc the opportunity to speak to Mr McConalogue about concerns voiced by many in the agriculture sector on the difficulty of the new agricultural science curriculum, and the effect it is having on the uptake of the subject in schools.

Next generation

Speaking about the Agri Aware events, Mr McConalogue said that it is "hugely important" for students to see first-hand the "great work that goes on" at farm-level.

“Ag science students are the farmers, the food scientists, and the leaders of the next generation of our outstanding industry," Mr McConalogue said. 

"We are an industry that supports every rural parish in the country and has exports of over €16bn. 

"It is crucial that we continue to develop and sustainably grow our sector and I know our ag science students will take on the baton and lead us with distinction.” 

Farming first-hand

Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe said that the events give thousands of Leaving Certificate students an "insight into a day on the farm and the hard work that goes along with it".

"The students have the opportunity to talk to industry experts and see developments in farming first-hand," he said.

"We hope those who come to Farm Walk and Talk will leave with a greater understanding of agriculture and their future in it.” 

IASTA chair Joe Corroon added that these events are an "integral part" of the agricultural science calendar, where students can get "real-life experiences on working farms and hear talks from agricultural and food industry experts and from leading academics, all in a practical environment".

"Over the years, thousands of agricultural science students have taken the opportunity to go to the Farm Walk and Talks at various locations, and gained a deeper, more practical knowledge of what they have studied in the classroom," he added.

Registration for the series will open at 1pm on Monday, January 30. 

Places for the events are on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be accompanied by a set of printed educational notes and a suite of classroom-friendly video assets.

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Karen Walsh

Karen Walsh

Law of the Land

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