Posted 17 January 2012
The work is very educational and interesting, and so far I’ve loved every minute of the experience.
Niamh (middle row, green t-shirt) with friends in Australia
A monthly special featuring a current student from Harper Adams.
20-year-old Niamh Molloy has chosen to spend her placement year across the other side of the world, learning about poultry production with global market leaders, Aviagen.
Niamh, from Maghera, County Londonderry, is currently in Australia and is soon to travel to New Zealand working as a general farm hand in areas such as rearing, production and the hatcheries.
The BSc (Hons) Animal Science student, said: “The work is very educational and interesting, and so far I’ve loved every minute of the experience.
“The most challenging aspect of this year has been trying to find the right time to ring home due to the 13 hour time difference.
“I was dreading homesickness setting in around Christmas, but the locals rallied around and even had me helping Santa on a fire engine on Christmas Eve as that’s how he travels in Australia!”
Before enrolling at the University College in Shropshire, Niamh enjoyed all aspects of pedigree farming, showing Lanark Scottish blackface sheep with her neighbour and developing her own flock of Texel sheep.
She chose Harper Adams for the chance to experience time away from home, and her course because of its balance between practical and theory-based work.
Niamh added: “Since being at Harper I have achieved so much and have met people who will remain friends for life.
“Some of the highlights of my time here so far include undertaking the role of Harper Ireland Secretary, being awarded the Chairman’s Cup at the Harper Ireland dinner 2010, and being awarded the Devenish Nutrition scholarship the same year.
“I was also awarded the Poultry Industry Education Trust International scholarship to aid with my placement year in Australia and New Zealand.”
Since embarking on her placement year abroad, Niamh has had a chance to reflect on her future career choice and is now considering the poultry industry.
She said: “Anyone that doesn’t really know the direction they want to travel down should step out of their comfort zone and try something new. The experience will broaden your knowledge and maybe open a new door that you had never considered before.
“As for those from Ireland north and south, Harper Adams doesn’t disappoint, you’ll have plenty of fun and make new friends to add to those back home. Leap out and dare to be different!”