Over 400 Leaving Cert Agricultural Science students from Cork closed the textbooks and opened their minds last Friday at Agri Aware’s Farm Walk ‘n Talks. Taking place at Clonakilty Agricultural College, this was just one practical day in a week of Farm Walk ‘n Talks which took place in seven locations across the country. The day was a real eye opener and exposed students to the reality of the subject that they are taught each day in the classroom.
From observing cows being milked, comparing different breeds of cattle, examining soil profiles touching lambs that are only days old and even seeing a cow calving, the students experienced it all. And it wasn’t just students from country schools learning at the event. Students from Cork College of Commerce, St Angela’s College in Cork and Ursuline Secondary School in Blackrock were in high attendance.
Speaking at the Farm Walk ‘n Talks, Agri Aware Chairman Bernard Donohue said, “Textbooks really came to life this week for students from over 100 schools nationwide. Agriculture is hands-on and events like the Farm Walk ‘n Talks give students a much better understanding of the practicalities of farming and the hard work that farmers do each day. The trip might even entice them towards a career in Agriculture.”
“This is our second year to host the Farm Walk ‘n Talk in association with Teagasc and UCD. We have been astounded by the popularity of the events and look forward to hosting many more walks in the future.”
Paddy Browne, Head of Education in Teagasc added, “After the success of the Farm Walk ‘n Talks last year, it was always our intent to host them again in 2011 and we have been looking forward to them immensely. We hope as Leaving Cert students sit their Agricultural Science exam in June, they will remember their visit to their local Teagasc or private college and the practical lessons they learned. We are delighted to work with Agri Aware on this venture and look forward to continuing this practical education for students.”
It was the students themselves who were the most enthusiastic about the event. They said, “The theory we learn in class now makes a lot more sense. Topics like target weight gains for cattle can be a little overwhelming but when you see the different weights today, it makes it all a lot more understandable. And of course, it was amazing to see the cow calving. ”