10th June 2021 - Flipbook - Page 37
JULY 22 2021
The monthly progress report on present and past CAFRE students
er passion for horses
I, my name is Daria Fidgeon and I am from Mullingar
originally. I have just completed the BSc Honours
degree in Equine Management at CAFRE, Enniskillen
I chose to study at CAFRE because of my passion for horses,
and the practical experience offered throughout the course.
I completed my dissertation looking at the movement and
resting behaviours of horses in the newly developed Active
Turnout facility on campus.
The idea behind this is to improve the welfare of the horses
by increasing the amount of time that they can spend moving
and socialising outside of the conﬁnes of a stable.
I looked at the horses’ behaviour in the stable, in a
conventional all weather turnout, and in the active turnout.
This was not without its challenges due to Covid restrictions
but with staff support and a great deal of perseverance I
completed the project successfully!
I have a keen interest in the racing sector. Whilst studying at
CAFRE I was fortunate to be able to exercise the racehorses
on the gallops in the mornings before class.
I was able to go with fellow students and horses to some
This season was curtailed due to Covid but we got a few
horses out for a couple of runs at the end of the season at
Necarne and Kirkistown. I really enjoyed this.
I have a keen interest in photography and I built up a good
bank of photographs of the horses at Enniskillen campus
during my time at CAFRE.
Some of my favourites have been of the mares and foals.
I had the opportunity to travel to Kentucky with a group of
fellow students – this was a trip of a lifetime.
These trips are made possible through the support of the
industry bursaries. During my time at CAFRE, I was awarded
an Irish Farmers’ Journal and a Horse Sport Ireland bursary.
I have had the opportunity to work with Coolmore for the
2022 breeding season, again because of the excellent support
n Daria exercising The Bolder Boy on the gallops at CAFRE
that CAFRE has from the equine industry.
I am currently working on a collaborative project with Down
Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders and Racing to Relate,
which aims to retrain racehorses for use in equine therapy.
I am really enjoying this and looking forward to an exciting
and rewarding future in the equine industry.
Roberta – the First
Class food analyst
I, my name is Roberta
McMaster and I live in
Castledawson. I have just
completed a four year
Honours Degree course in
Food Technology with the College
of Agriculture, Food and Rural
I set an objective during my studies
at Loughry campus to achieve a First
Class Honours and I am absolutely
delighted that my commitment
has paid off. I now have an Ulster
University validated qualiﬁcation to
be really proud of.
At Loughry I enjoyed the range
of different approaches lecturers
incorporated into modules to develop
our knowledge. Whether it was
practicals, guest speakers or trips to
food companies, we were offered lots
of opportunities to engage with our
The course content was always
aligned to the latest developments
and challenges facing the agri-food
CAFRE has excellent links with the
agri-food industry. With their support
the college offers students the
opportunity to apply for bursaries.
I was very fortunate to be awarded
two bursaries; one in my ﬁrst year
from Dunbia and in my ﬁnal year from
Danske Bank. I was delighted, they
were not just a recognition of my work,
but also provided very welcomed
During my time at Loughry campus
I took the opportunity to complete
a placement year. I worked with
Lakeland Dairies at their Ballyrashane
site in Coleraine. Placements are a
great way to see into the industry and
give invaluable experiences to include
in your CV.
I used my family’s
dairy farm to carry
out my research. It
made analysing the
results and compiling
relatable and my
research project more
Placements not only provide an
insight into career paths, but also
offer the opportunity to experience
different work areas, helping guide
you to the one best suited to you.
Our work placement was assessed
and on completion I was very
pleased to be awarded a Diploma in
I would encourage both students to
avail of placements and employers to
offer them, as they allow companies to
evaluate how students perform in the
Our ﬁnal year of study at the
college was different. Not only was
teaching predominantly online, we
had autonomy over what we chose to
research for our dissertation. I was
able to select an area of personal
interest to further develop my
I used my family’s dairy farm to
carry out my research. It made
analysing the results and compiling
recommendations relatable and my
research project more engaging.
When studying at CAFRE I really
enjoyed the food science related
modules. Food microbiology, chemistry, nutrition and food composition
captured my attention. From my
interest in food science I was attracted
to the job I hold within Beechwood
Thinking about it now, I would highly
recommend a course at CAFRE.
If you are interested in the food
industry, Loughry is the place to go.
It’s a great place to study, with superb
facilities from the library to practical
food technology areas.
Maximise all the opportunities you
are offered, whether that’s applying
for a bursary, completing additional
training courses, working summer
jobs or placements, equip yourself to
make your CV stand out.
The food industry has lots to offer
graduates with the right qualiﬁcations
and experience. I am really looking
forward to developing my food science
n Daniel checking calves on his home farm.
MY name is Daniel McCollum
and I come from a beef and
cereal farm between Coleraine
We buy in weaned heifer
calves that are around three
months old, and ﬁnish them
through our local abattoir.
The cereal side of the business
consists mostly of spring barley
along with some spring oats.
From a very early age it has
been my goal in life to return
to the family farm to work
alongside my dad and uncle.
In September of 2019
I enrolled at CAFRE on
the Foundation Degree in
Agriculture and Technology
I have really enjoyed my
time at Greenmount campus.
The teaching has been great,
and I have learnt about new
enterprises and gained new
skills, especially in business
management, learning to
benchmark and analyse
My father and I often talked
about adding a sheep enterprise
to our farm business; however,
we had no experience of
working with sheep. The
course at CAFRE developed my
knowledge of sheep production
and during work placement
I had the opportunity to
physically work with sheep.
For the Foundation Degree
course I had the option of
completing either a year-long or
three month work placement.
I opted for a three month
placement from February to
April of 2021. This timescale
worked in well being on farm
for the busy season for a sheep
I organised a placement with
a sheep farmer near Lough Fea,
where there was a large ﬂock of
sheep and 100 suckler cows. I
was involved with management
of the sheep both before, during
and after lambing, which gave
me a great opportunity to see if
I like working with sheep and
gain valuable experience.
Lambing season was tiring but
I thoroughly enjoyed it and my
time on placement hasn’t put
me off the plan of introducing a
sheep enterprise at home, which
was a surprise to my placement
After completing the
Foundation Degree my plan is to
return home to the family farm
and, in time, apply what I have
learnt, hopefully diversifying
into sheep in due course.