Cork student wins ABP Farm Safety category at BT Young Scientist Exhibition

Cathal O’Sullivan from Co. Cork was the overall winner of the ABP Farm Safety category at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) this year.

The student of Beara Community School in Castletown-Bearhaven won with his project titled ‘Preventing machine accidents with warning systems’

O’Sullivan impressed the judges at the virtual exhibition last week with his “innovative and forward-thinking project” that is designed to prevent accidental injuries and deaths from farm machinery.

He designed a device that alerts users when they are too close in proximity to spinning machine parts, preventing them from accidentally coming into contact with them.

Annie Graham, ABP livestock strategy manager said: “On behalf of everyone in ABP, I  would like to congratulate Cathal O’Sullivan on his successful award submission.

“His innovative project embodies the spirit of this award, finding new solutions to make our farms safer. We would also like to thank all of the entrants for their submissions, and for their role in helping to increase awareness around this very important issue.”

For the seventh consecutive year, ABP Food Group has sponsored the farm safety category.

Teagasc award at BT Young Scientist Exhibition

It was also a Cork student that took away the Teagasc award at this year’s exhibition.

Cian Walsh, a transition year student at St. Brogan’s College, Kilbrogan, Bandon, Co. Cork, won with his project that looked at the social, economic and environmental benefits and drawbacks of growing hemp and to determine if it can promote sustainable farming in Ireland.

He surveyed farmers to determine knowledge surrounding hemp. He found that there was a great interest in the crop, but that only 36% of those surveyed would consider growing it.

Walsh explains: “This was a figure I set out to change. I hosted a hemp information meeting on Zoom with the farmers surveyed, which included a presentation on hemp research in Ireland by Barry Caslin, Teagasc’s energy and rural development specialist.

At the end of the conference, I resurveyed the farmers and found a significant increase in interest in growing the crop (from 36% to 64%) if there were hemp processing facilities near to their home farm.

“The benefits of growing hemp are endless, farmers are willing to make the change – but it is government investment in the industry that will be needed in order to grow Ireland’s ‘hempire’.”