25 Sept 2022

WATCH: Two Kildare finalists in Teagasc/FBD student of the year competition

Nineteen national finalists

Two Kildare finalists in Teagasc student of the year competition

Finalists Padraic Cullen and Ewan Kane

Two young Kildare men were finalists in the Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year competition recently.

Padraic Cullen of Hybla, Monasterevin, attended Oak Park Centre for the Teagasc Green Cert Part-time programme. He worked off farm including in Australia before returning to the family dairy farm in 2015. He has a part-time firefighting role with the Fire Service. The technical and financial content of the Green Cert was very informative for Padraic, as were the tips picked up on practical training days. His focus now is on tightening the calving rate, increasing milk solids/cow, maximizing grass production and utilization. His overall goal is to develop the dairy enterprise and reduce the beef enterprise. A family succession partnership is planned.

Kildalton College was where Castledermot man Ewan Kane completed the Teagasc Level 6 Advanced Dairy Herd Management course. Originally from a beef tillage farm he has now established a dairy herd on the home farm. He has responsibility for herd management and makes operational decisions. He has adopted a range of technologies/practices including use of sexed semen and PastureBase , cost control, cow monitoring, sustainability measures and discussion group participation. He hopes to establish a family farm partnership in the coming years.

The overall event was won by Deirdre McMahon of Kinvara, Co Galway, who also won the dairy category.  Shane O'Brien from Midleton, Co Cork, won the drystock category. The winner of the ‘Other Land Based Enterprises’ category was Marian Dempsey, from Cootehill, Co Cavin.

There were 19 finalists in the competition overall, representing the full range of education courses offered by Teagasc.

Tony Pettit, head of education in Teagasc said: “I would like to congratulate the winners and all the finalists. The Teagasc / FBD Student of the Year award showcases the best students on Teagasc courses. I would like to thank FBD for their continued sponsorship for the awards. I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD.

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