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CAFRE in 1952!

May 31, 2022

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) has delved into the archives and rummaged through the College’s historic records to find out what else was going on in the year 1952.

Just like today, in 1952 Greenmount and Loughry were part of the fabric of the Northern Ireland Agri-Food industry having histories that date back to the early 1900’s. Enniskillen College was not founded until 1967 and it was only in 2005 that the three colleges joined together under the CAFRE identity.

In 1952, Greenmount and Loughry were delivering post World War Two curriculum in a period of technological revolution in the agriculture and food industries.

Loughry in 1952

By 1952, the site had changed its name from Ulster Dairy School to Loughry Agriculture College and was a female only school. Indeed it wasn’t until 1962 that the first male students attended.  The 240 acre farm at Loughry was used for both teaching and experimental work.  In 1952 the poultry and dairy industries had increased greatly; representing about two thirds of the farming income. The College recognised the importance of developing the people working in these industries and completely revised the curriculum to concentrate on poultry keeping and dairying, but also included a little general agriculture and some rural housewifery skills!

Greenmount in 1952  

In 1952, Greenmount was an all-male site, offering boys, aged over 17, a ten month agriculture training course. The post war agriculture course was designed to benefit those wishing to return to their own farms or work as farm managers for other people. It was also an access course to university, with some students progressing to study agriculture or veterinary science. This was at a time of revolution in agriculture, with technology solutions seeing the industry move away from hand milking, man-handling muck and haybricks.

Student life in 1952

Like today, both Greenmount and Loughry provided on-site residential accommodation, which students referred to as the ‘dorm’. Many students travelled far to experience the adventure of college life away from home and experience fun and camaraderie.  Students had the opportunity to participate in sporting activities, with rugby proving a popular sport at Greenmount. Hockey and table tennis were popular at Loughry. On both sites student activities, both inside and outside of the classroom, were always under the watchful eye of Matron!

CAFRE today

Over the last 70 years the college’s education, innovation and knowledge transfer programmes have continued to develop to meet the emerging needs of industry and create sustainable economic growth.

Today, CAFRE has over 1800 students registered at Greenmount, Loughry and Enniskillen Campuses, and each year provides support to over 10,000 people working in the Agri-Food industry.

CAFRE’s support to the Agri- Food industry has never stood still. As the old saying goes, “Change is the only constant”.