The 2013 winner of the Teagasc Student of the Year award is Kevin Moran from, Shessagh, Taugheen, Claremorris, Co Mayo.

The awards, are once again kindly sponsored by FBD Trust, and were presented by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, at a ceremony in Dublin today.

Kevin Moran completed the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture (Drystock Management) with Merit at the Mountbellew Agricultural College, County Galway. Kevin established himself as a new milk supplier with 70 cows on 38 hectares. He has expanded to 103 cows with his replacement heifers contract reared. He is passionate about dairy farming and about grass management. He scrutinises the top 10 per cent Teagasc E Profit Monitors to see what they are doing right so he can do it better. He is committed to producing high quality milk with SCC ‘s down to 70,000 and TBC’s of 3,000. He is a member of the Teagasc Tuam Discussion Group run by Teagasc adviser Mike Donoghue and also now a Teagasc Monitor Farm and participates in the Agrinet Online grass measuring.

Sarah Claxton from Kilminin, Stradbally, Co Waterford was presented with the first runner-up award.

The second runner-up award went to Gerard Connolly from Cornamuckla, Doohamlet, Castleblaney, Co Monaghan.

The students receiving the awards today have been chosen from all those who have completed Further Level training programmes with Teagasc in 2013. The other finalists were:

  • Craig Lovett, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan
  • Gerry Roseingrave, Ballyline, Crusheen, Ennis, Co Clare
  • Thomas Paul McNally, Mullanbouy House, Three Trees, Quigleys Point, Co Donegal
  • Christina Brosnan, Kilsarcon, Currow, Killarney, Co Kerry
  • Shane Joyce, Keelogues, Ballyvary, Castlebar, Co Mayo
  • Diarmuid Scannell, Coolea, Macroom, Co Cork
  • Sean Murphy, Ballybeg Cross, via Graiguenamanagh, St Mullins, Co Carlow

There were 3,700 students on Teagasc-run education courses in the 2013 academic year. The demand for agricultural education continues unabated. Teagasc linked higher education programme demand has increased again based on provisional CAO results for 2014 with an increase of almost 10% for some courses.

The demand for further education places in agricultural colleges is expected to continue at the high levels of recent years. CAP proposals introducing top up payments to CAP Basic Payments Scheme for young farmers is generating exceptional demand for Teagasc part time and Teagasc distance education courses for the immediate year ahead.