Kildalton Agricultural College will be celebrating 50 years of agricultural, horticultural and equine education, by bringing together past students and staff and the wider public to reflect on the changes and celebrate its achievements this Saturday (June 25).

The college is very proud of its modern educational facilities and substantial agricultural, horticultural and equine enterprises.

Attendees will get the chance to view the various enterprises on the day and reflect on some of the changes that have taken place in agriculture over the past 50 years.

There is a range of activities organised for throughout the day, which include:

  • Decade rooms, which are five rooms displaying photos and articles from each of the past five decades that help to demonstrate how the campus and enterprises have developed. This will be accompanied by a display in recognition of past staff in the main mall along with historical talks in the Conlon Theatre;
  • Visits to the historic Bessborough House, which will be open to guests with displays in the main Boardroom, the Oak Room and the Bessborough room;
  • Walk through the historic estate grounds and view the Bessborough Estate lake, gardens and historical woodland, along with a nature walk and scavenger hunt for the younger visitors;
  • Historic talks, taking place at scheduled times;
  • Lunch, served in the dining room, along with food stalls outside;
  • Finally, to mark the occasion, a time capsule will be buried on site and visitors can to add mementos.

Click here to book a ticket for Kildalton50, the fun-filled family day out.


The college’s dairy unit will display the current dairy herd in the college and its enterprise objectives.

It will also exhibit the progression of the herd since its establishment in 1978 through genetic gain, improvements in technology, facilities, and a renewed focus on sustainability.


Machinery and the evolution of agricultural mechanisation has been at the heart of the dramatic change Irish farmers have witnessed over the past 50 years.

As part of the event, the current Kildalton fleet of modern agricultural equipment will be demonstrated alongside models from the past five decades.

This will give a clear demonstration of how mechanisation has revolutionised agricultural output in Ireland.

From canvas cabs to air-conditioned modular units, the tractor is a perfect example as to how technology has changed.


The suckler beef unit will showcase the various production systems, breeds and technologies currently used in this high-performing herd while also tracking the development of the college’s beef herd and associated facilities since 1971.

Kildalton College
Professor Frank O’Mara, Teagasc Director; Dr. AnneMarie Butler, head of KT Education, National Advisory Teagasc; Martin Heydon, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; and Mr. Michael Berkery, chairman of FBD Trust


During the last 50 years in Ireland we have witnessed a change in arable crop production.

From a time when mixed farming was common practice, to the current climate of specialist tillage operations, Kildalton has evolved to meet the educational needs of students by adapting the tillage enterprise, changing its cropping policy and focusing on best practice in sustainable crop production.

On the day, the crops team will showcase a comparison of spring barley in the 1970’s vs. today’s crop.


The sheep unit will demonstrate the various production systems, breeds and technologies currently used in this high-performing early and mid-season flock.

It will also reflect on the development of the college’s sheep flock as a reflection of how sheep farming has changed in Ireland since 1971.


Visitors will have the opportunity to visit landscaped grounds and the extensive horticulture unit. Over the last 50 years the unit has evolved with the industry.

All enterprises will be open on the day including the commercial nursery, fruit and vegetable production units, sport turf facility, cut foliage unit and protected crops unit.

Some of the horticultural produce will be available for sale in the artisan village.


See the native breeds of horses at the college including: Connemaras; Draughts; and Kerry Bog ponies.

There will also be demonstrations taking place throughout the day showing: Dressage; young horse training; Olympian and army ex-Kildalton student’s show jumping.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see the comparisons between race horses and riding horses, and side saddle and arena eventing.

Additionally, visitors will also have an opportunity to try out their skills on the college’s state of the art horse riding simulator.

Kildalton College is looking forward to welcoming all attendees to this exciting day out taking place this Saturday (June 25).

Book a ticket for this fun filled family day out by clicking here.