William Reid, from Eglish, Co Tyrone, is currently enrolled on the MSc Communication programme at Loughry Campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, Cookstown.

As part of the programme, Reid is carrying out research for the Glenarm Shorthorn Beef scheme which gives him the opportunity to put into practice, the skills and knowledge he gained in the classroom.

Glenarm Shorthorn Beef (GSB) is a producer group which has been operating for the past two years supplying finished animals to Hannan Meats who have a unique ageing system where the cattle are hung in a Himalayan Salt Chamber for two weeks.

The produce is marketed in Fortnum and Mason and high end restaurants across Northern Ireland, London and Paris, as a premium product.  Glenarm Shorthorn Beef group currently has around 50 producers involved in the scheme and they aim to pay a minimum 10 per cent premium over conventional quoted slaughter prices.

The research that Reid is carrying out aims to find out the views of those participating in the scheme; how the support to these producers could be improved; and how the scheme could be expanded to meet the demand for the product.

Reid commented: “This has been a great opportunity to carry out a real life project for the Glenarm Shorthorn Beef group. In fact, the Msc in Communication is a very worthwhile and rewarding course for me. It has given lots of practical experience in a range of different work based environments. In the first semester, I produced a promotional DVD and brochure for a local agri-business and with the rest of class I planned, put together and delivered a programme on careers guidance for years 12-14 pupils in local schools. This was a great experience and confirmed my interest in this area of work so much so that I have chosen the training and development option in semester two.”

The MSc in Communication is a Queen’s University course, delivered at CAFRE’s Loughry Campus in Cookstown and is available on a full and part-time basis.

Whether you have just graduated or are already in employment, the MSc in Communication is a highly relevant practical qualification with a proven track record of success. For more information on any of our communication programmes, check out www.cafre.ac.uk or free phone 0800 0284291.

By Gareth Wadsworth, Communication Lecturer, Loughry Campus, CAFRE