Farming out agri innovation

More than 80 agri students graduated from courses in food, packaging and communication at the Loughry Campus, College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Northern Ireland today.

“Agri-Food is our most successful industry,” said Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill.

“It plays a central role in contributing to the wider north of Ireland economy. Down through the years there have been many challenges facing the sector. Indeed, the challenges currently faced by the industry and the rural community have never been greater. Our industry must have a strong market focus and produce the food products required by our customers. This requires people with the necessary technical, business and interpersonal skills, and the qualities and ability to drive the industry forward and maintain its key position in our economy. This is good news for those graduating today and I understand that many have already secured full time employment.”

The minister commended the close working relationships that exist between Loughry Campus and the food and drinks industry, emphasising the importance of these partnerships in achieving success.

“Loughry has an excellent working relationship with the local food and drinks industry and I am pleased to hear of its positive contribution when visiting food businesses. These partnerships make a strong contribution to business success. I sincerely thank all those companies and other education partners who have assisted in the development of our students by providing work placements, hosting visits and study tours and offering bursaries, prizes and awards,” she added.