The annual Agricultural Colleges Challenges Day is set to be held on 14th February in Kildalton Agricultural College in County Kilkenny. The challenges are based around leadership and teamwork; and bring students together from six agricultural colleges: Kildalton Agricultural College, Mountbellew Agricultural College in Co. Galway, Ballyhaise Agricultural College in Co. Cavan, Gurteen Agricultural College in Co. Tipperary, Clonakilty Agricultural College in Co. Cork and Salesian Agricultural College in Co. Limerick. Twelve students from each college will participate in various competitions such as Tug of War, Simulator Challenge, Stockjudging, Fencing and Tractor Driving, to name a few.

The Farm Business and Technology Award, sponsored by NBI, will return for a third year in a row. Niall Beirne, Head of Strategic Partnerships at NBI commented, “We are delighted to sponsor the Farm Business & Technology Award for the third year in a row. This year the students have been tasked with demonstrating how fibre broadband is benefiting their business, whether that is from an economical, safety or an environmental point of view. From previous years, we know that the standard will be really high, so we’re especially keen to see the submissions and understand how the work we are doing at NBI, will enable the sustainable development of farms, businesses, as well as wider rural communities.”

In 2023, a team of three students from Clonakilty took the prize of first place in the Farm Business and Technology Award and Mountbellew Agricultural College were the overall winners on the day.

Anne-Marie Butler, Head of Education, Teagasc, commented; “Challenge Day is a highlight of the academic year for all our learners and colleges. Teagasc is delighted to work with all our partners and welcome their valued input. It’s great to see college teams working together, applying their knowledge and skills across a number of challenges and most importantly having fun. Congratulations to all participants and their mentors and continued success in their courses with Teagasc.”

Macra are delighted to be associated with the annual Challenges Day. Elaine Houlihan, Macra President, said; “Macra are looking forward to an exceptional day in Kildalton Ag College and we would like to wish all the students the very best of luck on the day.”