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Waterford IT Ag Student Awards




Pictured L2R are Dr.Michael Breen, WIT; Niall O' Hanlon; Dairymaster;  Robert Tobin, award winner; David Corbett, award winner and  Pat Ryan, Dairymaster.  

Clare & Wicklow Students Cream Ag Science Awards at Waterford Institute of Technology

The winners of the annual Dairymaster Agricultural Science awards at Waterford IT are  David Corbett from Liscullane, Corofin, Co. Clare  and Robert Tobin from Kish House, Arklow Co. Wicklow 

The award is to recognise the achievements of B.Sc (Hons) in Agricultural Science degree students with the best final year project presentation, and was judged by a panel of experts from Dairymaster, Teagasc and WIT.

All 42 4th year agricultural science students were eligible and they were shortlisted based upon the presentation of their semester 2 research project 

“The Dairymaster Agricultural Science Student Award will help students realise the relevance of their final year projects to a world beyond college. The bursary is very welcome in helping our students make the transition to the workplace following their studies,” said Dr Michael Breen, course leader.

“Our judges which included Pat Ryan and Niall O’Hanlon of Dairymaster were impressed with the quality of final year presentations. David and Robert’s theses show how diverse research can be and how students can make an impact at an early stage.”

David Corbett (22) comes from a suckler and beef farm in Corofin, Co. Clare and is a former student of St. Flannan’s college, Ennis. His thesis, titled, ‘Different performance and sward characteristics of five contrasting swards of different ages from the same grass mixture’ provided him with the opportunity to show what he learned in Waterford IT.

“In my project I compared and measured the variations of the swards in relation to age and examined dry matter output, growth rates, protein output, leaf proportion, ash content and tillering of the varying grass ages. Grass production, productivity and animal performance are all areas of particular interest to me. As farming becomes more specialised these  areas that will need particular attention,” said David.

Robert Tobin (21) is from Arklow in County Wicklow. His final year research project was an investigation into “The Effects of Feeding Sodium Bicarbonate as a Rumen pH Buffer to Finishing Cattle”.

“I chose this topic due to personal experience with rumen acidosis in cattle at home during the finishing period and nutritionists selling us expensive supplements to combat the risk of this. My aim was to see if this extra cost of supplement was justified and with the help of my supervisor John O’Connor from Teagasc Kildalton I successfully found an answer to this.”

About Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) 

WIT has more than 8,000 students with education delivered from higher certificate to doctoral level. Prospective CAO applicants have 70 CAO courses to choose from across a range of disciplines. These include business, engineering and architecture, sports and nursing, law, social sciences, arts and psychology, the creative & performing arts, languages, tourism and hospitality, science and computing.

The Institute has continued to make a huge contribution to the educational, societal, and economic health of the region. WIT has been hugely successful with close to 2,500 graduates produced each year, and acts as a catalyst for positive change in the south east and further afield.

Over the last 10 years, the Institute has been granted in excess of €150 million in external research funding, leading the field of research in the institute of technology sector, and similar to some smaller universities.

There are approx. 180 students across all four years of the Agricultural Science programme, with students travelling from beyond key catchment counties of Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary from all parts of Ireland to study Agricultural Science at WIT.

About the BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Science course at WIT

The BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Science course is a four-year full-time level 8 course which prepares students for a career in the areas of agricultural science and agri-business.

The programme is delivered in conjunction with Teagasc at Kildalton College of Agriculture. Transport is provided to Kildalton. 

Self-management, team working, business awareness, problem solving, land management and communication are all areas which are strongly incorporated into the main core of this level 8 programme.

In the second semester of year 3, students can choose between a farm placement and an industrial placement. The Farm placement is designed to give the student experience of practical farming on a high quality farm. The Industrial Placement will allow learners to apply and develop their skills in the agri-food industry.

Graduates have a strong background in the areas of science, food, agriculture, the environment, business and quality assurance. Graduates from this course can expect to find employment in agri-food industries, sales and marketing departments of agri-businesses, consultancy and advisory services.

Dairymaster have won numerous Innovation Awards worldwide including at the three largest agricultural exhibitions in the world. The MooMonitor+ has won awards in Ireland, Britain, Hungary and the USA.

The prestigious Eurotier Gold Medal for innovation was awarded for the Swiftflo Revolver Goat Rotary milking parlour in Germany and the latest Swiftflo Commander which is like an IPad for cows has won 3 different innovation awards in Ireland in recent months. 

Dairymaster’s innovative product range encompasses five key areas: Milking Equipment; Automated Feeding Systems; Manure Scrapers; Cow Health & Fertility Monitors and Milk Cooling Tanks. Technology is a big focus throughout.

Dairymaster have customers in more than 40 countries, including Britain, France, Germany, Iran, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and the USA.  For more information check out