The Teagasc Kildalton Agriculture, Horticulture and Equine College in Piltown county Kilkenny open its doors and its gates to thousands of visitors on Saturday, 25 June to celebrate its 50th year as an education college.
In 1971, Kildalton College opened its doors as a training college for young farmers with 29 students enrolled. The following year the Horticultural College opened with 18 students and the Equine College in 1986 with 4 students. Today, Kildalton College is the largest college in the Teagasc network providing education and training to over 1,300 students each year.
Tim Ashmore, College Principal said; “During this period the college has fostered strong collaborations and progression routes with higher education institutions. In 1979, courses commenced in conjunction with the Regional Technical College in Waterford which then became Waterford Institute of Technology and is now known as South Eastern Technological University. This, and later collaborations with UCD and TUD continue to flourish.”
Dr Anne Marie Butler, Head of Education in Teagasc said; “Teagasc has invested in facilities and staff in the college throughout the 50 years to provide the best possible education for the next generation of farmers. We continuously develop our staff and incorporate best practice into our training programmes and into the ongoing development of our facilities. Visitors to the college for our open day last Saturday could see for themselves the high quality and standards of our course offerings and our modern teaching facilities. I would like to thank all my colleagues for their hard work in making the Kildalton 50th event such a success.”
At the Open Day on Saturday, visitors had the opportunity to travel through time in the Decade Rooms – rooms representing each of the past five decades displaying photos and articles from the college campus and enterprises showing how they have developed. They listened to talks in the Conlon Theatre on the history of Bessborough House, from Cromwellian times through its period as an Oblate Seminary, and as a land-based college over the past fifty years.
The historic Bessborough House and estate grounds including the lake, gardens and historical woodlands were open to all visitors. A visit to the agriculture, horticulture and equine enterprises was of interest to many visitors where they had the opportunity to see the current enterprises and reflect on some of the changes that have taken place over the past 50 years. Demonstrations took place throughout the day. The open day was supported by FBD.
Kildalton Open Day booklet
A history of Kildalton college https://www.teagasc.ie/education/teagasc-colleges/kildalton/kildalton50/history-of-kildalton-college/