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Developing skills for future agriculture

May 5, 2022

Hi my name is Luke Fairley and I live outside Lisburn on my family’s beef finisher, sheep and contract pig rearing farm. I am studying on the first year of the BSc (Hons) Degree in Sustainable Agriculture course at Greenmount Campus, CAFRE.

I have always had a keen interest in farming and I knew I wanted to follow a career in agriculture. Following the completion of my A-Levels at Dromore High School, I enrolled on the Degree in Sustainable Agriculture course at Greenmount Campus. I have a keen interest in the future of farming, ensuring a profitable productive future for younger generations, so this course stood out to me. It offers a wide range of both production and sustainability based modules, with pathways in Agri-Business and Land Management.

I am really enjoying my time studying at Greenmount Campus. The course provides a good mix of classroom and practical work. The College Farms provide an excellent practical learning resource enabling me to ‘learn by doing’. I am currently helping with lambing at the CAFRE Hill Farm Centre. The Hill Farm is home to 1100 ewes, just over half of which are Blackface. I am really enjoying this work as it gives me good experience and a great insight into the management of a large hill flock. The sheep on the farm are performance recorded which makes lambing time very busy. We have to ensure all the lambs are tagged quickly and accurately after birth. The experience of helping out with lambing at the Hill Farm Centre highlights to me the importance of good teamwork in making such a large operation a success.

After I complete my course, I would like to take up a job in pig or ruminant nutrition, but until then, I am enjoying developing my skills and knowledge that will give me the opportunity to complete further qualifications or take up full time employment within the agriculture sector.

If you are like me and enjoy the challenges that agriculture brings, consider studying for a qualification at CAFRE, there’s no better place to start your educational development.