Agriculture and Land-based Engineering students graduate from Greenmount Campus

Date published: 30 October 2023

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) hosted family, friends and industry guests to celebrate Further Education Agriculture course graduations at a ceremony at Greenmount Campus, Antrim.

In his address to students, Martin McKendry, CAFRE Director welcomed Special Guest at the ceremony, Cormac McKervey, Head of Agriculture at the Ulster Bank. Cormac has a long-established relationship with CAFRE, as an agricultural graduate and former member of staff. Now employed with the Ulster Bank the business generously supports the CAFRE student awards.

Mr McKendry said: “Through our education, knowledge transfer and innovation programmes at CAFRE, we seek to support people entering and working within the agri-food industry. As you develop your career remain open minded and be receptive to developing yourself and enhancing your skills and qualifications … Remember it is those who continue to learn and develop who will distinguish themselves from their peers.”

Congratulating the students he commented: “Be proud of what you have accomplished during your time at the College because we are very proud of you. The qualifications you have achieved from CAFRE will always be in your favour, whatever industry you work in or wherever in the world you work,” concluded Mr McKendry.

Bernard McCloskey, Senior Lecturer delivered the agriculture education report. Mr Mc Closkey highlighted that 106 full-time students would be receiving Agriculture and Land-based Engineering qualifications along with a further 116 part-time students, he applauded them all saying: “Today is the start of your career journey. You will now reap the rewards of your assignments, synoptics, exams and endless hours of studying as you embark on your career. It always amazes me to watch students develop. It is of vital importance that you have confidence in yourselves and your ability to do the things that we at CAFRE know you can. Along with confidence accept good advice, whether from those attending with you today or people you meet along the way.

“The friendships and memories from your studies at CAFRE will last a lifetime. These memories may come from study tours, visits to industry practitioners, practical learning on campus or from living at Greenmount Campus. Stay in touch with your classmates and staff through attending Alumni events at CAFRE.

“You are graduating from a course today but consider progressing your qualifications through higher level study, whether that’s a Level 3, Foundation Degree or Honours Degree course. Our world is evolving, both technologically and environmentally. It is crucial to keep up with the changes and remain at the forefront of your industry. Despite challenges that may arise, the industry's outlook is optimistic. Today as CAFRE graduates you are well-equipped to create new opportunities,” concluded Mr McCloskey.

For information on Further Education courses available at CAFRE, visit the CAFRE website to discover A-Level alternative study routes or courses to help you secure a job in the agriculture and land-based sectors.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption - Ian Kennedy (Collone) received the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Prize at the Greenmount Campus Graduation Ceremony. The prize was awarded to the top student on the Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Agriculture course by Martin McKendry (CAFRE Director) and Cormac McKervey (Head of Agriculture, Ulster Bank and Guest Speaker).
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