Photo: Michael Breen, WIT; Niall O' Hanlon; Dairymaster; Robert Tobin, Award Winner, David Corbett, award winner; Pat Ryan, Dairymaster.
The winners of the annual Dairymaster Agricultural Science awards at Waterford IT are David Corbett from Liscullane, Corofin , Co. Clare and Robert Tobin from Kish House, Arklow Co. Wicklow
The award is to recognise the achievements of B.Sc (Hons) in Agricultural Science degree students with the best final year project presentation, and was judged by a panel of experts from Dairymaster, Teagasc and WIT.
All 42 4th year agricultural science students were eligible and they were shortlisted based upon the presentation of their semester 2 research project
“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,” said Dr Michael Breen, course leader.
“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.”
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.
“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.
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”.
“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.”