The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) celebrated food-student achievements at a graduation ceremony held at Loughry Campus, Cookstown on Friday, June 24, 2022.
This was the first summer graduation event at Loughry since 2019, making the occasion extra special.
Proud families and friends were joined by invited guests to celebrate Loughry’s tradition of serving the Northern Ireland agri-food Industry in producing high calibre food graduates.
Norman Fulton, deputy secretary, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) welcomed and introduced the platform party.
The platform party included guest speaker George Mullan, managing director of Anglo Beef Processors (ABP) Food Group Northern Ireland and chair of NIFDA; Prof. Aine McKillop, associate dean of the faculty of Life and Health Sciences, Ulster University; Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots, MLA; Martin McKendry, CAFRE director and Shane McKinney, head of food education at Loughry Campus.
Prof. Aine McKillop conferred the BSc (Hons) degree and foundation degree awards.
14 food students achieved first class honours degrees, an outstanding accomplishment fully supported by external examiners.
George Mullan marked the achievements of national diploma food students, apprentices and business for agri-food and rural enterprise postgraduate students.
In his address to the students Shane McKinney congratulated top BSc (Hons) degree students, Cathy Parke, Food Technology; Melissa Wilson, Food Innovation and Nutrition; and Megan Cole, Food Business Management.
McKinney also congratulated two national diploma students, Emily McIvor and Lucy Watt who achieved 18 Distinctions in all units studied and wished them well with their studies as they progress to higher education study.
Acknowledging that food apprentices are very much part of the student cohort, McKinney commended those graduating with Level 2 and Level 3 food and drink apprenticeships.
Higher level apprenticeship (HLA) in food and drink manufacture students graduating with a foundation degree in food and drink manufacture were also congratulated, with Lewis Connelly from Linden Foods receiving a special mention on winning the higher level apprentice of the year award.
Martin McKendry, college director addressed students and guests acknowledging that graduates were entering a highly competitive world, where change prevails and new challenges abound.
McKendry offered the graduates encouragement stating that, “highly motivated, adaptable and technically competent people, like you, are greatly sought after and are critical to the development and growth of the agri-food industry”.