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CAFRE graduates should look to a world of opportunities

Nuala McDade from Dunmurry celebrates her graduation with her six-year-old daughter Faith at the CAFRE Loughry Campus, where she was awarded a foundation degree in food nutrition and health

NEW CAFRE graduates have been encouraged to embrace change and exploit the worldwide opportunities that will emerge in the agri-food sector of the future.

In addition to congratulating the 619 students who will be graduating from the college's three campuses at Enniskillen, Greenmount and Loughry, CAFRE Director Martin McKendry urged graduates to remain open to new ideas and new skills as they move into the workplace.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) is part of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

It has more than 1,700 full and part-time students on courses at Level 2 and above in agriculture, horticulture, food technology, equine and agri-business across three campuses.

"Given the importance of the agri-food sector to the Northern Ireland economy, I firmly believe that there is a need now more than ever for people like you – adaptable and positive, and with the appropriate skills and knowledge to manage and grow your chosen industry," Mr McKendry told graduates.

"Don't be afraid to experience new cultures, broaden your mind, learn from others and make new business and personal contacts. Embrace new technologies and innovations that are driving industries forward at a rapid pace. You have the skills to rise to these challenges and now it's time to grasp these opportunities."

Mr McKendry praised the links between industry and the college to help create effective paths for graduates to follow their chosen careers.

"Industry plays an important role in everything we do here in CAFRE," he said.

"This support is demonstrated in a number of ways, including working collaboratively, providing strategic advice and financial support for students, and offering placements and employment opportunities. For example, in partnership with leading organisations across the agri-food sectors, CAFRE offers a bursary programme of almost £60,000 per year."

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