Kildalton College to hold spring open day

A large crowd of students with their parents and guidance counsellors are expected to visit Kildalton College on Friday, March 15 when the college opens its doors for its spring careers day.

A large crowd of students with their parents and guidance counsellors are expected to visit Kildalton College on Friday, March 15 when the college opens its doors for its spring careers day.

The spring open day is an exciting time to visit Kildalton College as it coincides with calving, lambing and the sowing and planting of many crops including strawberries, early carrots and potatoes. The College has seen a huge increase in the number of applications for its courses in recent years, in part driven by a new-found confidence in farming and food production.

Irish food is popular well beyond our shores, with new markets opening up in China and the Middle East. Our beef, dairy, beverages and seafood products are appearing on tables all over the world and this is good news for farming, horticulture and the Irish economy.

The newly opened horticultural workshops and all weather tractor/machinery driving surface will be on view on the day. Kildalton College is the only college which has both commercial food and amenity horticulture production within its campus giving students experience throughout the academic year.

The college is currently undertaking trials on cut foliage and soft fruit production which gives students first hand experience in niche production areas such as the production of raspberries, blackberries, blue berries and cherries. These crops are envisaged as the next growth section of the soft fruit industry in Ireland.

The Kildalton dairy and suckler herds are well recognised throughout the region and the college also has a strong tradition for its crop input trials. Visitors will have the opportunity to see these enterprises first hand on the day. The equine unit at Kildalton College has world class facilities which offer fantastic practical training and has a reputation for training highly skilled graduates.

“Teagasc has invested heavily in Kildalton College in recent years to ensure that students are exposed to current and advanced methods,” says college principal Frank Murphy.

The College also has strong links with third level colleges, allowing students to progress into higher education and also gives our students access to a varied and exciting social life.

Information will be available on the new Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management – Level 7 awarded by UCD. This course began in September 2012 and offers exciting opportunities for students interested in a course in farm management.

People can visit Kildalton College on March 15 and learn how to be part of the Irish agriculture food sector. Organised tours commence at 10am and 11am.

For further information Frank Murphy, college principal on 051-644403, Tim Ashmore, assistant principal – agriculture on 051-644501, or Ciaran Walsh, assistant principal – horticulture on 051-644421.