Horticulture students enjoy Graduation Celebrations at Greenmount Campus

July 8, 2022

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) celebrated Horticulture student achievements at a ceremony on Thursday, 23rd June 2022. This was the first summer Horticulture graduation event since 2019, so an exciting occasion. With the sun shining, students and guests celebrated enjoying the impressive gardens at Greenmount Campus.

Invited guests, included Alderman Stephen Ross, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Fiona McCandless, Deputy Secretary, DAERA and guest speaker Mr Roy Lyttle, Vice Chairman of the Ulster Farmers’ Union Vegetable Committee, Vegetable Grower and member of the College Advisory Group.  

Martin McKendry, CAFRE Director welcomed Professor Carol Curran, Executive Dean in the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, Ulster University to confer the Foundation Degrees in Horticulture. Mr McKendry acknowledged the long standing strategic partnership CAFRE and Ulster University have and thanked Professor Curran and the University for their continued support.

Mr McKendry encouraged those graduating with a Foundation Degree to enrol to study for a top-up Honours Degree in Horticulture, saying, “The new degree, validated by Ulster University, delivered at CAFRE provides a unique opportunity for all those interested in management and senior technical level careers in the horticulture industry to further develop their knowledge and skills in the industry”.

Paul Mooney, Head of Horticulture at CAFRE congratulated Jamie Gault, top student on the full-time Foundation Degree in Horticulture, and Sarah Johnston top student on the part-time Foundation Degree in Horticulture.  Thomas Edwards received a special mention as top student on the Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture Landscape Management programme and Shona Bell as top student on the Level 2 Diploma in Practical Horticulture Skills programme.

In his address to the students Mr Mooney, commented that while, CAFRE Greenmount has been delivering horticulture education for almost a 100 years, the last 24 months were some of the most challenging. Mr Mooney heartedly congratulated those who achieved their awards during these ‘covid years’. Acknowledging the difficulties Covid posed in the workplace, he continued by praising Level 2 and Level 3 work-based students on their achievements saying that, “these students displayed remarkable commitment by attending the college one day a week over two years, coming from a range of work places including landscape businesses , golf courses, sports clubs and local council parks departments”.

CAFRE Bursary recipients graduating from the Foundation Degree received a special mention; Rebecca Gilroy recipient of the Calor Bursary, Emma Fisher the Bulrush Bursary and Aidan Donaghy the id Verde Bursary.  Rebecca was also awarded a UK Bursary from the prestigious David Colegrave Foundation, with fellow student Ben Sayers awarded a scholarship by the same Foundation.

Applications can be made for Horticulture courses starting in September 2022.  Course and contact details can be found here.

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