Dairygold Co-operative Society has awarded two undergraduate bursaries to students undertaking the Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at University College Cork (UCC) to support future agri-leaders.
The course is taught by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCC with input from across the university, and in close collaboration with Teagasc.
This year’s recipients are Sarah Cussen from Waterfall, Co. Cork and Hayley Phelan from Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford, who are both in their first year of the Bachelor of Agricultural Science at UCC.
The successful students will receive an annual bursary for the duration of their four-year undergraduate studies at UCC and will also be offered the opportunity of a work placement with Dairygold.
Conor Galvin, Dairygold CEO, said, “we are delighted to continue this strategic partnership with UCC and Teagasc which will nurture and develop the agri-business leaders of the future. In an ever expanding and growing agri food industry, Dairygold is looking forward to working with graduates like Sarah and Hayley who will have developed invaluable knowledge, skills and expertise coming from this degree programme. This collaboration forms part of our strategy to create a high-caliber pipeline of talent which will ultimately strengthen our organisation”.
Dairygold’s sponsorship of the bursaries began in 2019 to mark the introduction of the first Agricultural Science degree at UCC. The recipients are selected following an application process, inclusive of interview. They are required to submit an annual progress report for the duration of their degree.
Professor Frank Buckley, Professor of Agricultural Science at UCC thanked Dairygold for their “continued generosity and foresight in providing this fantastic award which aims to identify emerging young talent, and contribute to the support and development of the next generation of leading agri-professionals. Our ambition from the outset has been to attract Ireland’s brightest and best, and as evidenced by demand for the course, and the caliber of students attracted, as exemplified by our Bursary winners today, we are certainly succeeding in this regard, and excited for the future.”
“Delivered by UCC in conjunction with Teagasc, Agricultural Science at UCC is truly research-led, at all times rebooted by the very latest research. At its core is a real emphasis on the application of the latest knowledge, techniques and technologies. It benefits from endorsement, support and contributions of many industry stakeholders; ready-access to many of Irelands most profitable, sustainable and in many cases award winning dairy farmers, for our regular field-based training and our 18-week dairy Work Placements, many guest lectures and seminars delivered by Industry leaders and representatives of key service providers, and a 12-week individually tailored industry placement. Thus, providing our students with unique opportunities to be immersed in ‘best practice’, deepening their knowledge, opening up opportunity, and forming a key part of their personal and professional development”.
Frank complimented Sarah and Hayley, and congratulated them on their magnificent achievement, and wished them well with their studies at UCC.
Professor Frank O’ Mara, Director of Teagasc, added, “globally, we face a challenge to feed a population that is projected to exceed 9 billion by 2050. To meet this challenge, the Agri-food sector and agricultural professionals need a strong technical, agronomic and environmental knowledge base to ensure the production of safe, nutritious food products, while protecting the environment. This degree is especially tailored to attract those individuals with a particular passion for dairying and provides a rigorous understanding of the science of agriculture, business acumen and sustainability that is necessary to underpin the profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of Irish dairying and the wider agri-food industry.”
Professor Sarah Culloty, Head, College of Science, Engineering and Food Science commented, “I would like to congratulate Sarah and Hayley on receiving these bursaries from Dairygold. These scholarships give students an opportunity to avail of valuable work experience through a placement with one of Ireland’s largest agri businesses. We are grateful to Dairygold for their ongoing support of our BAgrSc programme and we are delighted to continue this successful partnership into the future”