Paul Bowden a 23 year old dairy farmer from Urlingford is the 2017 National Winner of the Farm Relief Services Memorial Scholarship which rewards students who show outstanding leadership ability.
After college Paul will go on to take up a paid placement with FRS to learn about their business.
The National finals of the FRS Scholarship took place at the Teagasc Colleges Challenge Day in Kildalton Agricultural College, Piltown last week
The Scholarship is run in conjunction with Macra na Feirme and a winner is selected to represent each Teagasc college as a National Finalist.
Paul was representing the Kildalton college agricultural students. In the national final he gave his presentation on the leadership skills of a fine furniture maker John Lee, a passion which Paul himself pursues; to a judging panel made up of Padraig Madden FRS Networks, Seán Finan National President of Macra and James Maher, Education Resource Coordinator with Teagasc.
Students from Kildalton Agricultural College were the overall winners in the annual Colleges Challenge Day beating off competition from six other agricultural colleges.
The challenge day has become an annual event since the introduction of the Leadership Module to the Level 5 Cert in 2008 and with all the challenges based around teamwork and leadership, it engrains in students the life skills they need to succeed in farming or any aspect of the wider industry.
Macra na Feirme National President Seán Finan congratulated all the students on their enthusiasm, encouraging them to be the leaders in the development of agriculture in the testing years ahead. He also acknowledged the number of students who have got involved in their local Macra clubs and reminded them that it is a means of keeping in touch with others in farming of a similar age and outlook when they leave agricultural college.
Padraig Madden said, “This is the ninth year of the memorial scholarship and FRS is delighted once again to give a dedicated student like Paul the opportunity to gain that all important work experience through placement with an FRS office.
“We like to play our part in the development of the agricultural industry and this scholarship is just one of the ways we contribute,” Padraig said.
Speaking after the presentations Tony Pettit, Head of Education at Teagasc acknowledged the huge effort put in by staff and indeed students for making the leadership module an integral part of the Level five courses.