Greenmount students on exchange study tour with Kildalton College
Final year Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture students from Greenmount Campus, CAFRE travelled to Kildalton College in Co Kilkenny recently to participate in a four day Study Tour accompanied by their Course Manager Dr Kate Semple and Year Manager Fergus Miskelly.
The impressive frontage of Kildalton College, Co Kilkenny
Early indications from observing the scenery on the journey to Kildalton suggested that Co Antrim and Co Kilkenny had much in common with evidence of recent challenging weather conditions only too visible in the form of flooding and fallen trees. The students on arrival at Kildalton however were pleasantly surprised as 90 freshly calved cows out of the Kildalton College herd of 110 cows were out at grass.
The cows at Kildalton College are Holstein, Jersey and Norwegian Reds and are very different in appearance to both the Future herd and CREAM herd at Greenmount Campus. They are much smaller in stature with a cow weight of 450 to 500 kg being fairly typical. Cow colouring is also very different and varying degrees of Jersey could also be observed in the overall cow type.
The Kildalton College Dairy herd, comprising Holstein, Jersey and Norwegian Red cows.
As well as going on a number of farm visits to discuss the merits of the low input milk from grass system students also participated in lively discussions with Kildalton dairy lecturers and Teagasc dairy specialists. With most of the Greenmount dairy students present operating higher input and output type systems, utilising Holstein genetics, the debates and discussions during the study tour could have went on till the cows came home!
Young dairy farmer James O’Donnell (far right) from Tipperary considers the outlook for dairying with the Greenmount Study Tour group and TEAGASC dairy lecturer James Ryan (far left). Left to Right: James Ryan (Teagasc and Kildalton College), Ian Walker (Scarva, Craigavon), Pauric McHugh (Boho, Enniskillen), Cameron Williamson (Kilrea), Ben Scott (Ballymoney), Scott Linden (Poyntzpass), Alison Hamilton (Belleeks, Newry), Thomas Chambers (Gilford), Gary Dinsmore (Strabane), Jamie Loane (Kesh), Fergus Miskelly (Greenmount teaching staff) and James O’Donnell (Tipperary host farmer).
All the Greenmount participants spent a thoroughly enjoyable four days at Kildalton College and were delighted to be invited to drop in for a catch up any time they were in the area.
By Dr Kate Semple, Course Manager, Greenmount Campus