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News > CAFRE celebrates ‘Great Debate’ success


CAFRE celebrates ‘Great Debate’ success

April 14, 2021

CAFRE’s Debate Team was awarded second place in this year’s ’Great Agri-Food Debate’, with Team Captain, Sarah Davidson receiving the Best Speaker award. The six person team representing CAFRE were second year BSc (Hons) Agricultural Technology students, Wilson Marshall, Joanne Moore, James Waugh, Alice Herron, James Roulston and Sarah Davidson

The annual ‘Great Agri-Food Debate’ is a joint initiative between Dawn Meats and McDonalds. The competition is designed to challenge future graduates entering the agri-food industry to critically think about sustainability issues facing the sector.

This year’s competition attracted entries from institutions across UK and Ireland, with CAFRE losing out to successive winners, Waterford Institute of Technology.

James O’Boyle, Head of Education Service at CAFRE congratulated the students on their win by saying, “This is an absolutely fantastic achievement by all of you and your mentors. Congratulations on winning your debate, being awarded the ‘Best Speaker’ prize and coming second overall in the competition. I’ve no doubt that the skill of presenting a logical, coherent argument will be of great benefit to you in your future careers.”

The debates were moderated and judged by representatives from the agri-food industry. Virtually accepting her award for ‘Best Speaker’, Debate Team Captain, Sarah Davidson said, “This has been a brilliant experience for my teammates and I. Being a CAFRE student means we are always encouraged to push ourselves in the interests of being ‘work ready’ when we graduate. The mentoring we received throughout this competition has given us the confidence to take on controversial topics and articulate our points of view; a skill we’ll definitely need as graduates going into the agri-food industry!

On screen, CAFRE Debate Mentors, Judith McKinley and Elizabeth Earle with Debate Team members, BSc (Hons) Degree in Agricultural Technology students Wilson Marshall, Aughnacloy; Joanne Moore, Larne and James Waugh, Portadown. Back row left to right: Sarah Davidson, Ballymena; Alice Herron, Armagh and James Roulston, Lifford, Co. Donegal.

Debate Team Captain and Best Speaker, Sarah Davidson, Ballymena