Stu­dent Ellen’s ex­per­tise lands Dairy­mas­ter award

New Ross Standard - - NEWS - By DAVID LOOBY

ELLEN FITZ­PATRICK, a past pupil of St. Mary’s Se­condary School, is one of two stu­dents at Water­ford In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy ( WIT) to be awarded a fi­nal year pro­ject award in the Dairy­mas­ter Awards.

The fi­nal year stu­dent was study­ing Agri­cul­tural Sci­ence. Ellen lives in New Ross with her fam­ily. Ellen ex­plains that fol­low­ing the 4th year pro­ject pre­sen­ta­tions, nine stu­dents were short­listed to present their projects to Dairy­mas­ter.

On May 24, two rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Dairy­mas­ter trav­elled to WIT to watch the pre­sen­ta­tions and they chose Ellen and an­other stu­dent.

Ellen’s pro­ject was called ‘An eval­u­a­tion of grass qual­ity for milk, beef and sheep pro­duc­tion us­ing ef­fi­cient and en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able chem­i­cal fer­tiliser’.

This in­volved three dif­fer­ent grass va­ri­eties and six dif­fer­ent fer­tiliser treat­ments in which the green­house gases car­bon diox­ide, meth­ane and ni­trous ox­ide emis­sions were mea­sured along with a num­ber of nu­tri­tive pa­ram­e­ters such as DM and crude pro­tein of the­ses grass sam­ples.

This mea­sured the sus­tain­abil­ity of the fer­tiliser treat­ments, while also tak­ing the nu­tri­tive value of grass into ac­count.

Ellen said: ‘It was an ab­so­lute hon­our to win the Dairy­mas­ter award, es­pe­cially with the ex­tremely high stan­dard of fi­nal year projects ev­i­dent among the fi­nal year stu­dents in WIT this year. I also thought it was fan­tas­tic that two women won the award this year, I feel this a tes­ti­mony to the equal op­por­tu­ni­ties given to women in agri­cul­ture here at WIT.’

Ellen plans to con­tinue her ed­u­ca­tion and is start­ing a PhD in the Tea­gasc Cen­tre in Moorepart this Oc­to­ber in grass­land.

Pat McCor­mack, ICMSA Pres­i­dent, Ais­ling Neville and Ellen Fitz­patrick, John Harty, Dairy­mas­ter and Peter Ken­neally, IHFA Pres­i­dent.

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