February saw the 25th anniversary of Harper Ireland, where the group came together to hear talks from alumni and celebrated with the club’s annual dinner. The event brought together current and past students alike to celebrate their background in agriculture and award two outstanding achievers in the group.
The Victor Truesdale Award, which honours leadership, teamwork and communication, went to final year BSc (Hons) Agriculture student Shannon McNiece, 21, from County Armagh and the President’s Prize went to BSc (Hons) Agri-Business student John Morrow, 22, from County Tyrone. The successes of Shannon and John were celebrated throughout the evening. Recognising the achievements of our student body is key to them continuing to develop their desire to succeed and make a difference through both their studies and their social responsibilities.
Throughout the evening, speeches were made from the Chair and incoming chairman respectively. However, the main talk was given by Annie Coleman, the Livestock Strategy Manager for ABP Ireland, who has travelled globally, using the knowledge from her degree in agriculture with land farm management to aid her work. While her talk centred on the similarities and differences between the club when it began in 1994, she also spoke about the overall aim of bringing together a group of like minded people.
“The very essence of the club was about being inclusive,” she said, “Whatever event was staged, everyone was invited which helped integrate the club into the fabric of Harper.
“To this day, I have very fond memories of Harper and this is all down to the people that I met; the friendships that were formed, the acquaintances that were made. Life is all about relationships and this is where Harper excels. The importance placed on people is like no institution I have ever come across, either personally or professionally, and this is why I believe it continues to go from strength to strength.”
The celebration of culture and friendship was solidified by its anniversary and we are looking forward to seeing what the group achieve next.