Students of agriculture and forestry from Kildalton Agricultural College were the overall winners in the annual Colleges Challenge Day held in conjunction with Macra and hosted in Clonakilty Agricultural College.

Seven specialist skills competitions ran simultaneously, including stock judging, plant identification, grafting, tractor driving, welding, forestry skills, and a problem solving team challenge.

The Kildalton team beat off huge competition in all categories to win the overall challenge. The students of Gurteen Agricultural College were runners-up.

Before lunch, the teams took part in a quiz and a soccer tournament.

A student from each team also competed for the FRS Memorial Scholarship to reward students showing outstanding leadership ability. Charles Cooney, Ballyhaise College, won the scholarship and will begin his internship with FRS soon.

The challenge day has become an annual event since the introduction of the Leadership Module to the Level Five Certificate in 2008 and with all the challenges based around teamwork and leadership, it engrains in students the life skills they need to succeed in farming or any aspect of the industry.

Meanwhile, at the All- Ireland final of Macra’s public speaking and impromptu public speaking competitions in Killarney, Co Kerry, top prizes were awarded to the team from Millstreet Macra, Muskerry, Co Cork, who won the public speaking contest, as well as Thomas Stritch of Freemount Macra, Avondhu, Co Cork, the winner of the impromptu public speaking competition.

Runners up in the team competition were Awbeg Macra, Avondhu, Co Cork, and the runner up in the solo competition was Teresa Brennan of East Laois Macra.

The impromptu public speaking award is sponsored by Harper Adams.

The competition finals took place in the Gleneagle Hotel and were hosted by Kerry Macra.

The winner of the best speaker award was Steven O’Riordan of Millstreet.


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