A young Laois woman with no farming background made it to the shortlist of the Teagasc Student of the Year Award 2020.
Teagasc, Ireland's agriculture and food development authority, profiled Daire Comerford in the nominee shortlist with the winner announced at a virtual ceremony.
While her family owns land, it has been leased since her childhood, meaning she has come to farming with little experience. That has now stopped her making a career out of it and once again returning to farming in her native Clonaslee.
"Daire completed the Teagasc Level 6 Advanced Dairy Herd Management programme in Gurteen College. She is not from a farm background and had completed a Level 7 programme in Veterinary Science. Subsequently she decided to attend agricultural college and is now employed by Gurteen College as a farm assistant to the farm manager.
"She found all aspects of her course to be very interesting and gained a lot from on-farm placements. Longer term she is interested in a farm partnership. In the medium term would like to use her Teagasc dairy and veterinary science qualifications to further her career," said the profile.
The Teagasc Student of the Year Award has been sponsored by FBD for over three decades. Daire was one of 19 finalists who are the top graduates of Teagasc education programmes in 2020.
The overall Teagasc Student of the Year 2020 winner was drawn from the winners of three categories: Dairy, Drystock and Other Land Use. All winners will be announced at the virtual event.
The 2020 national winner was Deirdre McMahon, Leagh North, Kinvara, County Galway. She was also the dairy category winner.
The Drystock Category winner is Shane O'Brien from Whiterock, Midleton, County Cork.
Shane completed the Teagasc Distance Education Green Cert programme in Midleton.
The winner of the ‘Other Land Based Enterprises’ Category is Marian Dempsey, Hilltop, Skerrig,
There will be a number of guest speakers at the virtual event including: Charlie McConalogue, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine; John Keane, President of Macra na Feirme; Michael Berkery, Chair of FBD Trust and Professor Gerry Boyle, Teagasc Director.
To view the event and meet the finalists, click on this link: https://www.teagasc.ie/ education/going-to-college/ student-of-the-year/
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