The winners have been announced as David Corbett from Corofin co. Clare and Robert Tohin from Arklow co. Wicklow.
These awards were set up to acknowledge the achievements of B.SC Honours in Agricultural Science degree students with the best final year project presentations. The candidates were judges by a team of experts from Dairymaster, Teagasc and Waterford I.T.
In total there were 42 final year students eligible for the awards, and suitable candidates were shortlisted based upon their semester 2 project presentations.
Course leader, Dr Michael Breen, said the award will help students release the benfits these projects can have outside of college, He said “The Dairymaster Agricultural Science Student Award will help students realise the relevance of their final year projects to a world beyond college. The bursary is very welcome in helping our students make the transition to the workplace following their studies”.
He also added the names of the men given the task of judging, before praising the winning students. He said “Our judges which included Pat Ryan and Niall O’Hanlon of Dairymaster were impressed with the quality of final year presentations. David and Robert’s theses show how diverse research can be and how students can make an impact at an early stage.”
One of the award winners, David Corbett (22), comes from a suckler and beef farm in Corofin, Co. Clare and is a former student of St. Flannan’s college, Ennis.
His thesis, titled, ‘Different performance and sward characteristics of five contrasting swards of different ages from the same grass mixture’ provided him with the opportunity to show what he learned in Waterford IT.
David explained the idea behind his thesis ,“In my project I compared and measured the variations of the swards in relation to age and examined dry matter output, growth rates, protein output, leaf proportion, ash content and tillering of the varying grass ages. Grass production, productivity and animal performance are all areas of particular interest to me. As farming becomes more specialised these areas that will need particular attention,” said David.
The other award winner, Robert Tobin (21), is from Arklow in County Wicklow. His final year research project was an investigation into “The Effects of Feeding Sodium Bicarbonate as a Rumen pH Buffer to Finishing Cattle”.
Speaking of his thesis Robert said “I chose this topic due to personal experience with rumen acidosis in cattle at home during the finishing period and nutritionists selling us expensive supplements to combat the risk of this. My aim was to see if this extra cost of supplement was justified and with the help of my supervisor John O’Connor from Teagasc Kildalton I successfully found an answer to this.”
The BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Science course isa four-year full-time level 8 course which prepares students for a career in the areas of agricultural science and agri-business.