Jon Parry has been appointed principal of Gurteen College and will take over the reins this week from his predecessor Mick Pearson who is retiring after 20 years at the helm.

Parry is the sixth principal to be appointed since the college’s inception in 1946.

He says he is delighted to join the team at Gurteen College which, he added, “provides quality education in pleasant surroundings”.

He also pointed to the farm at the site which is the largest college farm in Ireland with successful commercial scale enterprises including dairy, beef, sheep, machinery, tillage and forestry business enterprises.

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Parry was also keen to highlight Gurteen College’s “long and distinguished track record” of providing education and training for those engaged in agriculture and rural activities throughout Ireland and overseas since it was established 73 years ago.

Leadership roles

Meanwhile, prior to taking up the role in Gurteen College, Parry held various leadership roles in the UK.

Most recently he was head of dairy knowledge exchange at the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) – the levy board which represents farmers, growers and others in the supply chain.

He managed a national team of staff delivering events and advice to dairy farmers with a specific focus on business improvement and technical performance of dairy farms.

“Over recent years I have developed close links with Ireland working in partnership with UCD and Teagasc on a number of occasions,” he continued.

“I hope to build on the strength and reputation of Gurteen College and I am particularly looking forward to working with students, and developing new links with industry partners.

“I knew the moment I first visited Gurteen it was a special place – superb facilities and outstanding staff, a college with a real positive ethos.”

‘Enhancing college life’

Gurteen College’s new principal also studied agriculture at Harper Adams and further developed his knowledge and skills working on farms across England.

Returning to university, Parry later qualified as a teacher and has worked for over 20 years in agricultural education, gaining a wealth of experience in teaching and farm management.

I am very proud to become principal at Gurteen and to continue with the very successful development of the college.

He added: “The college has been enhancing life in our rural communities and providing our students with the best opportunity to fulfill their own goals and potential for many years now.”

Meanwhile, Gurteen College term commences this week and there are a few remaining places available on the part-time or distance learning agricultural courses.

Contact: [email protected] for more details.